Despite Q3 Decline, Specialty Store Racquet Sales are Up 3% Year-to-Date

According to the latest data from the TIA Specialty Store Tennis Racquet Retail Audit, specialty stores experienced a 4% decline in unit sales of tennis racquets in Q3 of 2012 over 2011 and a 5% decline in dollar sales. Despite the somewhat sluggish performance in the specialty market for the third quarter, year-to-date unit sales are up 3% and dollar sales are up 1%, driven by the strong double digit growth seen in Q1 and solid single digit growth experienced in Q2.

"Despite the decrease we saw in the third quarter of this year we're still up over the course of 2012," says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer, "and if the positive holiday shopping outlook projected by other analysts, such as the National Retail Federation, carries over into the tennis industry we should see slight growth overall in the specialty market for 2012 compared to 2011."

In terms of units, tennis racquets sold in the $175 - $199.99 price point accounted for the largest percentage of specialty market in Q3, with nearly 34% of racquets sold falling in between these price points. Racquets sold at less than $99 accounted for 30% of the market and racquets sold between $150.00 - $174.99 comprised 18.3% of the specialty market in the third quarter.

Mid-plus racquets were the most demanded racquet size by consumers this past quarter (61% of sales), nearly tripling the percentage of oversize racquets sold (22.7%).

"The versatility and playability of mid-sized and oversized frames appears to continue to draw the highest percentage of demand from consumers," de Boer adds.

The figures above are from a monthly audit of tennis specialty and pro shops conducted by the TIA and Sports Marketing Surveys USA. For information on participating in the audit, including a sample of the additional information panelists receive, please submit a request to research@tennisindustry.org.