In spite of a 14% surge in shooting sports equipment sales, U.S. retail sales of sporting goods (footwear, clothing and equipment), which slipped 1% in 2008, fell 3% in 2009, according to the soon to be released NSGA report “The Sporting Goods Market in 2010.”
”Had it not been for the strong shooting sports equipment sales, the declines in 2009 and 2008 would have been sharper,” NSGA Vice President of Information & Research Thomas B. Doyle said. “Minus shooting sports equipment sales, we would be looking at declines of 4.5% and 3.8% respectively.” In the past 25 years, the only previous decline in sporting goods sales was in 2001. That decline was less than 0.1%.”
Athletic and sports equipment, which accounted for $24.36 billion in sales, showed a 2% decline. The Association is forecasting a 1% increase in equipment sales for 2010.
In 2009, athletic and sport footwear slipped to $17.07 billion, a 0.7% decrease. The Association is forecasting a 1% increase in footwear sales for 2010.
Athletic and sport clothing showed a 8.5% decrease, to $9.25 billion. The Association is forecasting a 5% increase in clothing sales for 2010.
Among equipment categories with sales of more than $1 billion in 2009, hunting & firearms showed the greatest percentage increase. Sales of hunting & firearms equipment rose 14% to $5.2 billion from $4.5 billion in 2008.
By only a few million dollars, exercise equipment remained the largest individual equipment category surveyed by NSGA. Sales of exercise equipment decreased 2% to $5.2 billion.
Among other equipment categories with sales of more than $1 billion, only sports optics and camping showed increases. Sports optics rose 4%, to $1.07 billion. Camping equipment sales grew 2%, from $1.46 billion in 2008 to $1.5 billion in 2009.
In other $1 billion-plus sales categories, golf equipment and fishing tackle experienced double-digit declines. Golf equipment sales fell 19% to $2.84 billion. Fishing tackle fell 10% to $1.9 billion.
Fifteen of the 24 equipment categories surveyed by the Association last year showed declines. The balance (except for hunting and firearms) showed modest (2 to 8%) increases.
“The Sporting Goods Market in 2010” is a copyrighted NSGA consumer study that projects 2009 purchases of sporting goods products based on a survey of 100,000 U.S. households. National Family Opinion, Inc. (NFO) maintains the consumer panel used in the survey, which is balanced to parallel actual American household distribution as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Census, so that the data can be projected nationally.