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Senate OKs Marketplace Fairness Act - Bill Moves to House

In a 2012 Dealer Trends Study conducted by the Tennis Industry Association, specialty tennis retailers indicated that competition from online only retailers was their key concern moving forward for their business. Also, in the top 3 of their concerns was the growing issue of "show-rooming," where consumers come into retail stores and interact with retailers to gain their product knowledge, only to leave and complete their purchase through an online dealer. To help level the playing field for brick and mortar retailers to compete with online retailers, Congress introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013.

Weakened Q1 for Specialty Tennis Retailers

With a decline in the average consumer confidence index from January to March 2013 over the same period of 2012 of nearly 5.5 index points, specialty tennis retailers felt the impact of waning consumer confidence on their sales of tennis racquets.  The average Consumer Confidence Index, which has typically been an economic indicator which helps predict trends and correlations in tennis industry equipment sales, was down to 62.1 in Q1 2013 from 67.5 in 2012. 

Tennis Continues to Lead Pack Among Traditional Sports In Participation Growth

In the recently released US Sports, Fitness, and Recreation Participation Report from the Physical Activity Council (PAC) — a consortium of six sports, recreation, and outdoor trade associations — despite fluctuating participation trends among traditional sports, tennis continues to lead the pack in long-term participation growth, which is up 31% from 2000-2012. 

Slack CCI, Poor Weather, Early Deliveries Contribute to Weak Q1

The first quarter of 2013 proved challenging for the tennis industry in terms of wholesale distribution from manufacturers and retail sell-through for specialty tennis retailers. These two trends are measured on a quarterly basis by the Tennis Industry Association’s Census Reports and Specialty Store Retail Audits.

Overall factors potentially impacting the declines seen in year-over-year comparisons include weakened consumer confidence, weather trends across the country, and early wholesale deliveries of racquet products from manufacturers in late 2012, which traditionally would have been delivered in early 2013.

Tennis Tune-Up Campaign Gains Industry Support

Recently, the Tennis Industry Association re-launched PlayTennis.com to get more tennis players into the game and progress on the pathway to becoming frequent players. Accompanying the re-launch of the site is the introduction of an all-new industry initiative that is gaining support from retailers, manufacturers, and the USRSA—a "Tennis Tune-Up" campaign.

PAC Study Shows Growth In Cardio Tennis

Cardio Tennis participation grew  and frequent player play occasions were up nearly 2%, while overall tennis participation remained flat, according to the Physical Activity Council's  (PAC) Annual U.S. Participation in Sports, Fitness, and Recreation report. The study, which surveys participation across 125 different sports, fitness and leisure activities, is the nation’s largest report on physical activity. The survey, conducted online with a sample size of more than 40,000, is supported by six sports, fitness, and recreation trade organizations.

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