Bankruptcy court approves sale of Edwin Watts


A bankruptcy court cleared the way Thursday for the $40.8 million sale of golf retailer Edwin Watts to a pair of purchasers, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The duo of GWNE, Inc., and Hilco Merchant Resources LLC paired to win the rights to the retailer through a bankruptcy auction earlier this week. The move could reportedly allow the chain, which employs 648 people across its 91 U.S. locations, to keep some of its stores open, as papers filed in bankruptcy court by the purchasers included plans to retain lease agreements at 49 locations.

Edwin Watts entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Nov. 4, citing increased competition from big-box retailers, poor weather and an overall decline in consumer spending among the golf retail industry. According to the report, chief financial officer Lynda Barr also noted the company's multiple "lackluster" product launches as a key contributor to its struggles, per court papers filed last month.

Founded in 1968 in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., the chain began with a single store run by its namesake and still maintains its corporate headquarters in the town, from which it ships 33,000 packages and nearly $15 million of products annually.