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.
Competing with the online market, sluggish consumer confidence, the U.S. government shutdown, and consumers who project lower spending for the 2013 holiday shopping season, will prove to be a challenge to this channel for the remainder of the year. Through the month of August, year-to-date unit sales for racquets at pro/specialty are down 8% and dollars are down 4%. A portion of this decline is attributable to the poor weather seen in many parts of the nation in the first quarter, as those months saw the largest percentage decreases year-over-year and have been significantly larger than the marginal declines seen the remainder of the year-to-date.
The TIA monitors sell-through of tennis racquets on a monthly basis through its Specialty Store Retail Audit. For more information on TIA research, contact the Research Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.