STATS Retail Landscape
Sporting Goods Loses Market Share to Mass, Specialty Stores
BY JASON NORMAN executive that we had overstated the 2008.” 9 percent.
Sporting goods was the only chan- full-line sporting goods market share While sporting goods is more than It seems sporting goods is in limbo,
nel not to grow in 2008, losing 200,000 in past years, so we adjusted in 2008,” holding its own against the IBD and sandwiched between the expertise, se-
units over a year’s time. The distribution said Townley, who produces The Cy- mass merchant when selling parts, ac- lection and quality of the IBD, and the
channel felt the squeeze from both the cling Consumer of the New Millenium cessories and clothing, the channel is cheap prices of the mass.
specialty retailer and mass merchants. Report. having a rough go selling bikes. “Sporting goods has maintained its
Jay Townley of the Gluskin Townley “Also, our sources tell us that some While the specialty retail channel ac- share of aftermarket because of pre-
Group said several reasons underlie the full-line sporting goods retailers have counts for 50 percent of all bikes sold, sentation and merchandising of brand
decline in sporting goods. “We have lost some volume to mass merchants and the mass accounts for 36 percent, name products that are not necessarily
been told by more than one industry as the economy contracted throughout chain sporting goods stores come in at available from mass merchants, but are
losing share in new bicycles because
Preliminary Estimates 2008 U.S. Bicycle Market many of the same brands are available
at lower prices from mass merchants,”
Features of Channels of Distribution Townley said.
Mass Merchant Specialty Bicycle Retail1 Chain Sporting Goods Other
Specialty Breeds Diversity. Townley
13.7 million units, 77% of the 3.2 million units, 17% of the 1.1 million units, 6% of the 371 thousand units, 3% of said that more than 300 bike brands
total units. total units. total units. the total units. sell through the specialty retail chan-
nel. The majority of them have survived
4 large retailers that do 60% 4,319 independent, Special- 30 sporting goods retailers: A variety of outdoor / out-
of MM channel total, or over ty Bicycle Retailers. (Note: • Dicks Sporting side retailers, mail order over the past five years because of de-
40% of all retail sales: Performance retail stores • Sports Authority/Gart and internet retailers and mand for variety.
• Wal-Mart are included.) • Champs Sports all other local and regional “The demand comes from the bike
• Kmart • Goods/Gallions retailers of bicycles. shops that get it about the need to dif-
• Target • JumboSports • Mail Order ferentiate themselves in their market
• Toys-R-Us • Sportmart • Internet space, and their understanding of the
• Hardware Stores adult cycling enthusiast market in their
$1.1 billion in annual bicycle $1.6 billion in annual bicycle $284 million in annual $158 million in annual local community and area,” Townley
retail dollars, 36% of total an- retail dollars, 50% of total bicycle retail dollars, 9% of bicycle retail dollars, 5% of said.
nual bicycle retail dollars. annual bicycle retail dollars. total annual bicycle retail total annual bicycle retail “The adult cycling enthusiast is look-
dollars. dollars ing for discovery and finding some-
thing new and different in their local
$83 average unit retail price $500 average unit retail $255 average unit retail $425 average unit retail bike shop, and they want to stand out
price price price as individuals among their local cy-
Major Bike Suppliers Major Bike Suppliers Major Bike Suppliers Major Bike Suppliers Townley doesn’t yet track numbers
• Dorel Industries • Trek Bicycle Corp. • Huffy Bicycles • Dorel Industries
for handmade/custom-built bikes, but
Schwinn • Giant Bicycle Inc. Royce Union • Dynacraft Bicycles
he sees this as an emerging segment of
Mongoose • Specialized • Raleigh America • Huffy Bicycles
Roadmaster • Raleigh America Diamondback • Rand International the market that retailers should take
• Dynacraft Bicycles • Dorel Industries • Dorel Industries • Kent International note of.
Magna Schwinn Mongoose
• Huffy Bicycles GT Schwinn Demand for Do-It-All Bikes. The spe-
Royce Union Cannondale • Haro cialty retailer had much more trouble
• Rand International • Haro selling full-suspension mountain bikes
• Kent International • Redline in 2008 compared to 2007. Total unit
Plus over 260 additional sales dropped by 100,000.
brands and suppliers. This might not come as a surprise as
high gas prices and a souring economy
MM channel stocks and sells SBR channel stocks and CSG channel stocks and Other channel stocks and entered into the picture last year.
a limited selection of bicycle sells the widest selection of sells a relatively wide sells a wide selection of
Now more than ever, consumers
parts and accessories, and bicycle parts and accesso- selection of bicycle parts, bicycle parts, accessories,
clothing and shoes. It is
might be looking for a “do-it-all bike”—
some clothing. It is estimated ries and clothing and shoes. accessories, clothing and
estimated that the Other one that lends itself not only to dirt rec-
that the MM channel does It is estimated that the SBR shoes. It is estimated that
channel does 18% of the reation, but also commuting. This helps
24% of the annual aftermar- channel does an estimated the CSG channel does 23%
ket business at retail. $670 35% of the annual aftermar- of the annual aftermarket annual aftermarket busi- explain why front-suspension sales are
million estimated aftermar- ket business at retail. $978 business at retail. $642 ness at retail. $503 million up almost 300,000 units from 2007 to
ket retail dollars. million estimated aftermar- million estimated aftermar- estimated aftermarket 2008.
ket retail dollars. ket retail dollars. retail dollars. Moreover, cost-conscious consumers
are most likely attracted to the lower
Sources: The Gluskin Townley Group, LLC analysis; The Cycling Consumer of the New Millennium Report.
pricepoint on a front-suspension bike
OSR, or Outdoor Specialty Retailers has been added as a separate Channel of Trade for the 2008 Report. Estimated retail sales are 182 as opposed to full suspension.
thousand units, for 1% of the total, and $85 million or 3% of the total retail dollars. In past years OSR was included in the Specialty Bicycle “Full suspension has moved from be-
Retail, or Bike Shop estimates. OSR has been taken out of the Specialty Bicycle Retail estimates for 2008.
24 Bicycle Retailer & Industry News • June 1, 2009 www.bicycleretailer.com
ing hot to being not so hot, and front U.S. Bicycle Market Estimated Retail Dollars
suspension has moved up to the current 2008 Total Market Share, Bicycles & Aftermarket by Channel of Trade
hot off-road category,” Townley said.
Interestingly, high gas prices last year Channel of Trade SBR-Bike Mass Merchant Chain Sporting Other* Total U.S.
didn’t spark a huge spike in sales in the Shops Goods Market
comfort and hybrid/cross categories at
the specialty retailer. Bicycles $1,579.04† $1,136.91† $284.23† $157.90† $3,158.07†
“High gas prices didn’t generate a 50% 36% 9% 5% 100%
surge in new bicycle consumption,”
Townley said. “However, high gas pric- Parts, Rubber,
es did contribute to a surge in used bi- Accessories including $977.87† $670.54† $642.60† $502.91† $2,793.93†
cycles being ridden by more Americans Clothing and Shoes 35% 24% 23% 18% 100%
last year—and this will probably con- (Excludes service
tinue this year as well, even though gas labor and rentals)
prices have gone down, and will prob-
ably stay down through this year. Total Estimated $2,556.91† $1,807.45† $926.83† $660.81† $5,952.00†
“What surged in 2008 was demand Retail Dollars
for bicycle service work and sales of re-
pair and replacement parts and acces-
sories, including tires, tubes, saddles, of Total Market 43% 30.4% 15.6% 11.1% 100%
pedals, bags and baskets,” Townley
added. * including Hardware Chains and Independent Retailers, Mail Order and Internet †In Millions
What’s less of a surprise is road/700c’s Sources: National Sporting Goods Association; The Gluskin Townley Group analysis and estimates.
decline over the last three years. Look
for this trend to continue well into the longer this recession lasts, the more said road will probably resemble 2003 more children and young adults to our
future. permanent the changes in consumer to 2005 volumes at specialty retail. sport and activity, we will not have
“There may be no stopping it,” Town- buying habits will become. Some adult Another category that’s taken a hit much of a future,” Townley said. “It is
ley said of road’s decline. “The U.S. cyclists will switch to urban cycling, is juvenile bikes. All youth categories essential that we get kids on bikes, and
consumer has been changed by this and some will just age-out of the fit- were down last year except for 24-inch, if anything, it is even more important in
economic contraction, just as their par- athletic thing and switch to upright hy- which may not bode well for the future the long-term to get more kids on bikes
ents and grandparents were changed by brids or comfortable recumbents.” (see story on page 1). more often than to get more adults on
the Great Depression. The deeper and Once it does hit bottom, Townley “If we, as an industry, don’t attract bikes. Our future depends on it.”
www.bicycleretailer.com Bicycle Retailer & Industry News • June 1, 2009 25