The Tennis Industry Association’s (TIA) latest “2020 Tennis Industry COVID-19 Impact Studies” report for July finds approximately 85 percent of tennis retailers and facility operators said they were open, up from about 36 percent in its May survey. Other findings from the report include:

When asked to compare June 2020 to June 2019, 20 percent of retailers and facilities said their businesses increased or were flat. About 35 percent said their June business was down by more than 80 percent, almost half of the 60 percent of retailers and facilities who predicted such a decrease for May.

  • There is more optimism about year-end performance. 52 percent of retailers predicted a year-end decrease of >40 percent (compared to 2019), down from 71 percent in the May survey. 49 percent of facilities in July projected a year-end drop of more than 40 percent, down from 59 percent in May. Retailers and Facilities expect these improvements to continue for the rest of the year, though about 80 percent still expect their year-end 2020 business to decline compared to 2019.
  • The most common way retailers have adjusted their buying for the year include reducing the inventory of racquets (49 percent), accessories (37 percent) and apparel (34 percent). Nearly 20 percent (18 percent) have not adjusted their buying this year.
  • “Vigilant sanitation” remains the most-used safety measure for businesses. Facilities also continue to postpone group activities and reduce lesson sizes.
  • When asked about staffing levels, nearly half (45 percent) of businesses said their staffing is at pre-COVID-19 levels.
  • Only 19 percent of those in the July survey who said they applied for emergency funding did not receive any, down from 39 percent in the May survey.
  • Roughly a quarter of retail operations, and 13 percent of facilities that are partially/fully closed, expect to re-open in July. One-third of these businesses also said they don’t know, or haven’t received, guidance from the government.
  • When asked how brands can support their retail operation, the option chosen by the highest percentage of tennis retailers was “marketing activities to drive store traffic.” In May, retailers gave higher priority to off-price sales for Spring 2020 inventory.
  • “Closing again” is the biggest concern, with 82 percent of respondents selecting it as one of their Top 3 concerns. Another one-third cited “increased business expenses.” Other responses included reduced demand, the safety of indoor courts and employee safety.

The full report is here.

Photo courtesy Winchester Indoor Tennis Club