The 2014 tennis season has officially kicked off in the U.S. and various segments of the trade are supporting a "Restring for Spring" campaign to get consumers into retail stores to "tune-up" their racquets.
Despite a strong start to the holiday season in 2013, where pro/specialty retailers saw a 4% increase in racquet units sold and a 7% increase in racquet dollar sales in November, year-end figures were down compared to the previous year. Racquet unit sales in the channel were down significantly in Q1 (-14%), which had a significant impact on total sales for the year as remaining quarters saw smaller losses in units sold.
In a recently released article on Market Watch, it appears that some retailer's concern regarding "showrooming" - where a consumer comes into a brick and mortar store to view/test products and then goes home and purchases online - may be somewhat misguideded.
The start of the holiday shopping season brought good news to the pro/specialty segment of the tennis industry in 2013. In what has been a challenging year in terms of "sell through" for racquets among pro/specialty retailers, November racquet sales saw an increase of 4% in unit sales over 2012.
As much as many people may hate it, or rather it is perceived to be hated, email is still an effective way to not only communicate with your customers, but also drive sales for your retail business. There are a variety of stats and figures to the contrary to show that email marketing is STILL an effective way to increase consumer engagement and potentially drive sales for a business.
Virgil Christian, the director of market development for the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), has been named “Person of the Year” for 2013 by Tennis Industry magazine in the publication’s January 2014 issue. Christian led off the magazine’s 13th annual “Champions of Tennis Awards,” which honors people, businesses and organizations dedicated to improving the sport and business of tennis.
With the launch of PlayTennis.com and the industry's concentrated efforts to drive traffic to the site, it is more important than ever to get your retail information posted or up-to-date in the GrowingTennis System managed by the TIA. The tennis industry is driving consumers to PlayTennis.com so they can quickly and easily find places to play, search for tennis retailers, connect with tennis teaching professionals, and find tennis programming in their area. The key portal to get listed on this consumer site is at www.GrowTennis.com.
NRF expects sales in the months of November and December to marginally increase 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion, over 2012’s actual 3.5 percent holiday season sales growth. The forecast is higher than the 10-year average holiday sales growth of 3.3 percent.
The latest retail buzzword is “webrooming,” which describes a fast-growing phenomenon that retailers should come to like—when customers research a product online, then purchase it in a brick-and-mortar store. It’s the opposite of “showrooming,” where consumers browse in a store, then buy online.
2013 has, without a doubt, been a somewhat challenging year for the specialty tennis retail market. However, on a positive note, racquet dollar sales were up 4% over 2012 in the month of August. The increase in dollar sales compared to last year is a by-product of a 6% increase in the average price of racquets sold in tennis specialty shops in August 2013 versus August 2012.