For the first half of 2013 the TIA has been focused on industry efforts to grow the game and the business of tennis. Under the direction of TIA President Greg Mason—whose two-year term commenced at the beginning of 2013—and our board of directors, we continue to focus our efforts on our key strategic platforms.
Like any business, you need to use all the tools you have to get ahead, including industry research, such as the recently released 2013 edition of the “State of the Industry” report. Here a few of the key findings of the report and what they may mean for tennis providers. (You’ll find more analysis of the research in a story in the upcoming July issue of Racquet Sports Industry magazine.)
To learn more about industry research and reports available, visit TennisIndustry.org/Research or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Increasing the value of transactions is one way to actually grow your specialty tennis retail business, and point-of-purchase displays can attract shoppers’ attention to merchandise. POP displays also serve as focal points for you and your sales associates to suggest add-on’s to an initial sale and to assist in up-selling from good to better, or better to best.
The PHIT America Alliance has created a new category to help support the health and fitness campaign. “Ambassadors” include grassroots influencers such as tennis teaching pros, fitness professionals, retailers, park & rec administrators, P.E. and school teachers or any individual who wants to help spread the word about PHIT America and healthy living.
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.
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 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.”
There may be good news soon for brick-and-mortar tennis pro and specialty shops. In March, the U.S. Senate, by a large bi-partisan majority, voted for an amendment to the budget bill that would require all retailers to collect and report sales tax, including online retailers who have been exempt from many state and local taxes.