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New York, New York – January 30, 2013— After successfully defending her Australian Open title Victoria Azarenka remains atop the World rankings as No. 1 as Rafael Nadal is set to make his first U.S. appearance at the annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 4.  The upcoming event featuring Azarenka v. Serena Williams and Nadal v. Juan Martin del Potro will headline a full day of nationwide activities as part of Tennis Night in America as well as the inaugural World Tennis Day.

NRF Forecasts 3.4% Increase in Retail Sales for 2013

Washington, January 28, 2013 – The National Retail Federation released its 2013 economic forecast today, projecting retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) will increase 3.4 percent*, slightly less than the preliminary 4.2 percent growth seen in 2012. The subdued forecast comes on the heels of a holiday season that went head-to-head with Washington’s political wrangling over fiscal concerns, shifting consumers’ spending plans downward.  In the end, holiday sales in 2012 grew 3.0 percent.

Tennis Town Named RSI's Pro/Specialty Retailer of the Year

Having grown up and played tennis in the Pittsburg area, Kent Johnson was aware that there had never been much of a tennis retail presence. As a teaching pro, during lessons, people would ask him where there could buy tennis equipment locally. So Johnson decided to open Tennis Town, which occupies a 1,300-square-foot space in the Pittsburg suburbs.

Retail Tip 117: Build Your Operational Business Plan

Planning to grow your business and make money…can actually be fun! We are optimistic about the future of specialty tennis retailers in the U.S. This may seem odd considering we have pointed out in TIA Webinars the fact that retailing in America is in the midst of profound changes, and some industry observers are predicting that by 2020, half of all retail stores in the U.S. today will be gone.

Retail Tip 116: The TIA Retail Business Assessment—offered free in January—can build sustainable growth for your store

In today’s highly competitive retail environment, with consumers controlling who stays in business and who doesn’t, it’s crucial that you have a firm understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your specialty tennis retail business.

The authors of Nine Shift–Work, Life and Education in the 21st Century warn in their “Second Decade Predictions for the 21st Century” that the “number of retail stores declines by 50% (half) by 2020.” We clearly see this already happening across many different retail segments; just look at the empty retail spaces you probably have in your own communities. (You can learn more about “Nine Shift” at

Host a Family Tennis Championships Event at Your Facility

There’s a new tennis tournament that doubles as family time. The 2013 National Family Tennis Championships offers thousands of amateur players across America the opportunity to team up with a family member to earn the right to play for a national title in New York City from Aug. 22 to 26.  Tennis facilities interested in being one of the 300 host sites have until February 28 to sign-up.

ITF Launches Tennis Xpress Promo Video

The International Tennis Federation recently launched a promotional video for its new "Tennis Xpress" program, which is geared at getting adults into the game of tennis by utilizing the slower  orange and green tennis balls. The use of these balls has been made popular by the Tennis10s program internationally and 10 and Under Tennis in the United States.

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