The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) released the 2018 Manufacturers’ Sales Report, which dissects the sports and fitness product market, based on the U.S. wholesale dollar sales data of sports equipment, exercise equipment, activewear apparel, sports apparel, licensed merchandise and footwear. Sales in the sports and fitness industry grew 2.9% in 2017, which represents the best annual growth in three years.
Sports equipment sales increased by 3.1%, with basketballs, batting gloves, baseball protective gear and camping coolers registering healthy category growth. The overall sports equipment category measured $24.9 billion in sales.
Regarding fitness, the fitness apparel category experienced strong gains at 12.3%, while the exercise and fitness products market maintained its relatively flat year-over-year pattern, measuring out to $5.2 billion in sales. Overall, the report shows that institutional exercise products are slightly up and consumer exercise products are slightly down.
“The sports and fitness products industry is resilient. Though we have faced profound changes in retail landscape and consumer behavior, the industry continues to innovate and deliver products that Americans want, in order to maintain their desired active lifestyle,” said Tom Cove, President and CEO of SFIA.
In apparel, the accessories sector of branded athletic apparel has experienced notable growth (nearing 5% in some categories), creating more opportunity for niche products in the marketplace. Also, after an unpredictable few years in the footwear industry, where the classic/original brand styles have been increasing at a faster rate than any other category, fitness/workout footwear is now outpacing the classic/original styles. While both categories are showing steady, healthy gains, sales of fitness/workout footwear have increased by 5.3%, while classic/originals have increased by 3.5%. The running shoe category continues to dominate the shoe market, grossing nearly double the amount of any other footwear category, and maintains strong, consistent growth at 2.1%.
The full 2018 Manufacturers’ Sales Report is free to all SFIA members and can be accessed here.