Sport equipment's online market research
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Sport equipment's online market research

The market for sporting goods (athletic footwear, exercise equipment, licensed sports merchandise athletic apparel) in the United States has a projected value of more than $63 billion U.S. in 2014. The recreational transport (bicycles, pleasure boats, RVs and snowmobiles) and the equipment category accounts for 25 to 30 billion U.S. dollars in consumer purchases.

The biggest sporting goods retailer in terms of revenue is Walmart, with 9.3 billion U.S. dollars in revenue from sporting goods sales in 2013. About 14 percent of sporting goods equipment is sold through online channels / over the internet; the distribution channel with the highest growth in market share. Despite the growth in online sales, more than 105 million people shopped for sporting goods at a sporting goods store in 2013 according to Scarborough Research.

 Sporting goods store sales in the U.S. are $43.2 billion/year, whereas e-commerce sales of sporting goods in the U.S. is $6.006 billion.[1]

SKI EQUIPMENTSki equipments

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and Leisure Trends Group have released retail numbers for the period from August through March 2012-13, and total market projections based on data collected from the point of sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers indicate that the 2012-13 ski and snowboard season brought in $3.4 billion in retail revenues, up three percent compared with dollars sold during the previous season. By category, dollar sales in ski and snowboard accessories increased six percent, apparel was up three percent and equipment sales were flat compared to the 2011-12 season.

Specialty shops sold through $1.9 billion in snow sports equipment, apparel and accessories and continue to be the widest distribution channel in the snow sports market. Sales in specialty shops finished the season about 1.5 percent higher this season compared to the 2011-12 season. The Internet is the second widest sales channel; consumers spent $810 million online for snow sports gear this season, about $77 million more than they did in 2011-12. Chain store sales reached $746 million and finished about even with last season’s sales.

Alpine ski equipment brought in more than 60 percent of all equipment dollars and finished with sales up 2.6 percent in dollars, including sales of carryover alpine ski equipment. Snowboard equipment sales brought in $255 million through February, ending the season down seven percent compared to sales in the same time frame last season. Cross-country ski equipment sales increased six percent to $35 million as the snow fell. The small but high growth category this season is Alpine Touring (AT) with a 22 percent increase in dollars sold to $18 million.

Snow sports apparel continues to have the most dollar share at snow sports retail, bringing in $1.46 billion this season. Apparel sales are up three percent in dollars sold and up three percent in units sold, led by a four percent increase in unit sales of insulated tops. Sales of snowboard bottoms are up 10 percent in units sold and alpine bottoms sales are up just under one percent in units sold.

Sales of accessories increased six percent in dollars sold to $1.1 billion this season. Accessories tend to be items that consumers need on mountain and on trail; hats, gloves, base layer, goggles and camera equipment all enjoyed increased sales this season.[2]


First quarter 2013 Canadian bicycle and bicycle accessory sales were about $78 million, up from $69 million in 2011. Second quarter sales was up to $305 million in 2013 from $283 million in 2011.

In 2009, the year with the highest sales dollars that Statistics Canada has data on (numbers only go back until 2004), sales in the first quarter fell just shy of $116 million and second quarter sales came in at $417 million.[3]

Distribution Channels

Bicycle sales are accomplished in the United States through five primary and distinct channels of distribution — specialty bicycle retailers, mass merchants, full-line sporting goods stores, outdoor specialty stores, and "other," which is comprised of a mixture of retailers (including Internet sales).

2013 direct sales in the U.S. bicycle industry were $5.8 billion, including retail sales of bicycles, related parts and accessories, through all channels of distribution. This compares to $6.1 billion in sales in 2012, according to a report prepared for the NBDA by the Gluskin Townley Group.[4]

United States Bicycle Salesbike retail store

The overall size of the industry has remained fairly stable since 2003, with sales between $5.8 billion and $6.1 billion each year (the exception being the recession year 2009). For comparison purposes, the industry's size was $5.3 billion in 2002, $5.4 billion in 2003, $5.8 billion in 2004, $6.1 billion in 2005 (an all-time high), $5.8 billion in 2006, $6.0 billion in 2007, $6.0 billion in 2008, $5.6 billion in 2009, $6 billion in 2010, $6 billion in 2011, $6.1 billion in 2012, and $5.8 billion in 2013.

Approximately 74% of bicycle units were sold through the mass merchant channel in 2013, representing 30% of the dollars at an average selling price of $84. The approximately 4,000 specialty bicycle retailers commanded approximately 15% of the bicycle market in terms of unit sales in 2013, but 52% of the dollars, a dominant dollar share. Dealer price points generally start at around $200, with the average at $714, though prices can range into the thousands. New bicycle sales represent about 47% of the revenue for the average specialty bicycle retailer, with parts, accessories, service/repair, rentals and fitness equipment sales comprising the rest. Specialty bicycle retailers as a group feature quality merchandise, and add value through services such as bike fitting, assembly, repair, and community involvement.

Chain sporting goods stores sold approximately 6.5% of the bicycles in 2013, and 8% of the dollars, at an average price of $254. These are merchants that fall somewhere between mass merchant and bicycle dealers on the spectrum, and include stores such as The Sports Authority, Champs Sports, JumboSports, Sportmart and Big 5. This channel's overall market share was flat in 2013 compared to 2012.

Outdoor specialty retailers sold approximately 2.5% of the bicycles in 2013, representing 6% of dollars and an average retail selling price of $577. This channel’s trend line is steady.

The "other" category, which includes internet sales, sold 2% of the units, representing 4% of the dollars, with an average price of $412.[5]

Canadian Bicycle Sales

The estimated size of the Canadian bicycle market is 1.3 million units a year, according to the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada.[6]

Cycling Participation

35.6 million Americans age seven and older were estimated to have ridden a bicycle six times or more in 2013, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. This number was down from 39.3 million participants in 2012. It should be noted that the age limit on this number eliminates millions of young people who ride bicycles with wheel sizes 19" and under, as well as those who rode a bicycle fewer than six times in the year.

Cycling is often cited as the seventh most popular recreational activity in the U.S., behind exercise walking, swimming, camping, fishing, exercising with equipment and bowling. Though overall bicycle use has been flat, several studies have shown an increase in bicycle use for commuting and utility use.

However, bicycles and related products continue to appeal primarily to a recreation market in the United States. NBDA research conducted by the Bicycle Market Research Institute in 2006 reported that 73% of adult cyclists rode for recreation, 53% for fitness, 10% for commuting, 8% racing and 6% sport. The figures add up to more than 100% because some ride in multiple ways.[7]

[1] Statistics and facts on the Sporting Goods Industry,

[2] Ski and Snowboard Retail Industry Hits $3.4 Billion in Sales in 2012-13, First Tracks Online Media, May 13, 2013,

[3] Bicycle Sales in Canada Regain Footing, Canadian Cycling Magazine,

[4] Industry Overview 2013, 2013 - The NBDA Statpak, A Look at the Bicycle Industry’s Vital Statistics,

[5] Industry Overview 2013, 2013 - The NBDA Statpak, A Look at the Bicycle Industry’s Vital Statistics,

[6] The Rise And Fall Of The Raleigh Bicycle Brand In Canada, Dana Flavelle, The Star, February 7, 2013,

[7] Industry Overview 2013, 2013 - The NBDA Statpak, A Look at the Bicycle Industry’s Vital Statistics,


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