Home Blog Sales Void as The Sports Authority Exits | Blog

The NPD Group Blog

Insights and Opinions From Analysts and Experts in More Than 20 Industries

Sales Void as The Sports Authority Exits | Blog

Sneakernomics: The Sales Void Created by The Sports Authority

Dec 14, 2016
Matt Powell, Vice President, Senior Industry Advisor ;
Sports

When The Sports Authority (TSA) filed for bankruptcy last spring, it was the largest failure we had ever seen in the sports industry. The overleveraged TSA represented about 20 million square feet of sporting goods retail – nearly 10 percent of the industry's square footage. Proportionally, TSA represented more than 10 percent of the industry’s apparel and equipment sales while it under-indexed in footwear.

NPD’s Checkout Tracking correctly identified the primary recipients of TSA’s business: e-commerce (brand, retail, and pure play), adjacent big box sporting goods, and national discounters. But what was not anticipated was that some of its business would simply evaporate.

It is now clear that some of TSA’s business came from its Sunday flyer marketing strategy. Even if the customer did not need what was advertised, some came out and bought goods simply for the discount. Now that those flyers are no longer running and with no traffic going through their stores, a portion of TSA’s business has vanished into thin air.

It is easy to see this in the outdoor industry numbers, where TSA was a major player. Outdoor sales through the athletic specialty/sporting goods channel decelerated from down in the low single-digits in the first half, to down in the high single-digits in the third quarter. Sales in the outdoor specialty channel actually improved in the third quarter from the first half, as it picked up some sales given up by TSA.

In activewear, we see a similar trend. Nike and Under Armour are the largest brands in activewear.  Their sales for Q3 were up sharply in department stores and national chains, but were down sharply in athletic specialty/sporting goods. Adidas, who did not have a big presence at TSA, saw sales rise sharply.

In footwear, where TSA was not as significant a player, the shift is less visible, but still exists nonetheless. Changing fashion categories also mask the shift in the business. Running shoes was a category where TSA had a strong position. Sales there decelerated sharply after TSA stores closed. Categories including classic footwear, where TSA was not an influential factor, were not impacted at all.

It is clear that the closing of The Sports Authority stores last summer has left a vacuum in the market. The greatest impact on the business will come in the fourth quarter, as this was when TSA was fighting for its life. After that we should see this void created by TSA’s closings begin to abate.



Related Blog Posts


April 12, 2018

Sneakernomics: Are You Experienced?

The retail experience has never been more complicated, or more important. NPD’s Matt Powell explores the critical components that make a great experience, and what sports retailers can do about it.

April 3, 2018

Sneakernomics: Team Sports Equipment Year in Review

Overall for 2017, U.S. team sports equipment sales declined in the single digits, but below the surface it was a mixed bag, with notable pockets of growth.

March 15, 2018

Sneakernomics: What the Sports Industry Can Learn from Beauty

In today’s retail landscape, industries cannot live strictly in their silos, but must learn from each other. Beauty is among the fastest-growing. Here are the top trends driving its success today, and what others like the sports industry can learn from it.

February 27, 2018

Sneakernomics: Sports Retail in the Internet Age, Part 2

In my previous blog, I wrote about the ways in which retailers can revolutionize the in-store environment to survive the internet age.

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View our privacy policy.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.