MOUNT PROSPECT, IL (BRAIN)—Sales of recreational transport equipment (bicycles, pleasure boats and motors, recreational vehicles and snowmobiles) declined to $27 billion in 2008, a 29 percent drop. Sales of recreational transport products in 2009 are forecasted to decline another 27 percent, according to the recent National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) report “The Sporting Goods Market in 2009.”
In spite of a 16 percent surge in shooting sports equipment, retail sales of sporting goods (footwear, clothing and equipment), which reached a record $53.5 billion in 2007, fell 1 percent in 2008. For 2009, sporting goods sales are forecast to slip another 1 percent to $52.3 billion.
“In spite of the decline, 2008 sales were the second highest in the 30 years the Association has been doing the market study,” NSGA Vice President of Information & Research Thomas B. Doyle said.
Exercise equipment remained the largest individual equipment category surveyed by NSGA. Sales of exercise equipment decreased 3.5 percent to $5.3 billion. Motorized treadmills, which dominate this category with $3.0 billion in sales, showed a 1 percent decrease.
Among other equipment categories with sales of more than $1 billion, only camping showed an increase. Camping equipment sales grew 1 percent, from $1.45 billion in 2007 to $1.46 billion in 2008.
In other $1 billion-plus sales categories, golf equipment fell 5 percent to $3.55 billion. Fishing tackle fell 6.3 percent to $2.1 billion and sports optics were flat at $1.02 billion.
Fifteen of the 24 equipment categories surveyed by the Association last year showed declines—two were flat and the balance (except for hunting and firearms) showed modest (1 percent to 4 percent) increases.