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.
Join the TIA and other TIA Retail Division members in this upcoming retail webinar — to be held June 11 — on creating a great store environment to bring your store environment to life and boost sales.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The TIA is in the process of exploring a tennis equipment wholesale shipment report that could include data from nations in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Australia.
The TIA is developing an online Tennis Specialty Retailer Certification course that will cover key aspects of the tennis retail business and, upon successful completion, allow retailers to be recognized as a “TIA Certified Specialty Tennis Retailer.”
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.
In the most recent USTA/TIA tennis participation study, the age demographic that saw the greatest percentage increase in 2012 was young players 6 to 11, which increased 13% from 2011. Clearly, messages about 10 and Under Tennis are reaching kids, their parents, and tennis providers—and all of that is having a positive influence in other industry segments, too.