Sporting Goods’ Growth Streak

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While the apparel sector as a whole is still struggling to consistently match or exceed its 2019 visit levels, major sporting goods stores are seeing their visits jump. We dove into the data to get a better understanding of this category’s impressive offline success. 

Impressive Year-over-two-year Monthly Visit Growth 

For the past five months, visits to four major sporting goods brands – Hibbett Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy Sports + Outdoors, and Big 5 Sporting Goods –  have consistently outpaced 2019 monthly visits. Visits in July were up 24.1%, 13.2%, 11.5%, and 11.4% at Hibbett Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy Sports + Outdoors, and Big 5 Sporting Goods, respectively. 

August was slower across many consumer categories, but the sporting goods’ sector continued to flourish. Visits to Hibbett Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy Sports + Outdoors, and Big 5 Sporting Goods were up 21.8%, 10.2%, 4.7%, and 5.4% compared to August 2019.

Visits Still Growing

And it looks like these brands still haven’t hit their peak.  Visits to Hibbett Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Big 5 Sporting Goods grew 10.6%, 20.0%, and 23.1%, respectively, between June and July, and 42.4%, 24.6%, and 10.3%, respectively, between July and August. 

Visits to Academy Sports + Outdoors also grew by 11.8% between June and July, but decreased by -1.0% in August. Yet, the fact that the brand was able to essentially maintain its visit levels despite renewed customer COVID concerns means that Academy Sports + Outdoors is still in a strong position.

Looking at early data from September confirms that these brands are continuing to surpass their 2019 visit levels. After two difficult weeks in late August, the category leaders have returned to visit growth, with visits for the week beginning September 13th up 22.6%, 9.1%, 2.9%, and 1.8%, respectively, for Hibbett Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy Sports + Outdoors, and Big 5 Sporting Goods.

It’s been reported that sales of fitness equipment and athletic wear surged during the pandemic, as consumers tried to recreate their gym or studio workout in their homes. The COVID-driven outdoor workout boom also drove sales of accessories for hiking, skiing, kayaking, and other close-to-nature activities. The continued growth in foot traffic across leading sporting goods retailers shows that while the lockdowns may be behind us, some consumer trends could have an extended reach.   

Can the sector mainstain its impressive growth? 

Check back in with Placer.ai to find out. 

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