‘Lemon’ of a sale turns into beloved Austad’s Golf tradition

Feb. 12, 2018

This piece is presented by Austad’s Golf.

How does a retailer not only survive but thrive for 55 years?

“You make lemonade out of lemons,” said Dave Austad, CEO of Austad’s Golf.

Austad’s is coming off a strong year in 2017, which company president Ryan Austad attributes to two key things:

“First, we’ve built events that our customers know, love and look forward to,” he said.

“And second, we are laser-focused on world-class service and custom fitting.”

The massive Austad’s warehouse sale coming up is a perfect example of both.

Several times each year, golf enthusiasts make the pilgrimage to Sioux Falls from hours away to take part in the warehouse sale spectacle. The next one starts Feb. 15 and will mark its 20th anniversary.

It all started with one of those “big lemons” Dave Austad likes to reference.

It was the dead of winter, 1988. It would be at least 60 days until grass could be seen on area golf courses.

The 15,000-square-foot Austad’s warehouse was stuffed with old merchandise. To make matters worse for the business, new product for the coming season was beginning to arrive daily. There was no place to store it.

But desperation can produce the best ideas. So with no room left in the store for old merchandise and no room left in the warehouse for new merchandise, the Austad’s team came up with a wild idea:

Leave all the product in the warehouse, mark it way down and let the customers shop the massive 15,000-square-foot back room.

“At first, customers seemed a bit leery of walking back into a dusty warehouse. Now, our customers look forward to the event for months,” Dave Austad said.

On Feb. 15, the doors will open at 6 a.m. with a line of 100 golfers huddled at the door on what’s generally a cold February day.

“We have customers who want to be the first ones through that door; they know there are limited quantities, and they want to be sure they get the best deals in the industry,” Ryan Austad said.

Those deals are substantial.  Austad’s now buys specifically for this event, picking up the best closeout deals in the country.

“We will sell over 3,000 shirts, 700 dozen golf balls, 2,500 clubs, all at over 60 percent off in a five-day period. It’s a tradition that allows our customers to get premium product at a value price while we start our year off with a bang,” Ryan Austad said.

If you haven’t seen the spectacle – or if you’re a loyal repeat visitor — come to Austad’s location at 2801 E. 10th St. over Presidents Day. Austad’s warehouse sale goes through Feb. 20.

“To thrive in retail, you need to continually turn lemons into lemonade” Dave Austad said. “For us, the warehouse sale has become one giant glass of sweet lemonade.”

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‘Lemon’ of a sale turns into beloved Austad’s Golf tradition

Several times each year, golf enthusiasts make the pilgrimage to Sioux Falls from hours away to take part in the Austad’s Golf warehouse sale spectacle. It’s an example of why the business is thriving in a competitive retail industry.

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