There were some key bright spots for the sports equipment and cycling markets during the first quarter of the year, moving the industry in a positive direction in time for warmer weather.
Camping: The camping-related categories remained the strongest growth areas within sports equipment, including cookware (+22 percent), tents (+20 percent), hydration systems (+18 percent), and sleeping bags (+15 percent).
Sports Instruments: The instruments category overall experienced an 8 percent lift in sales. The popular fitness devices business—up more than double compared to Q1 2014—offset the sinking video camera category, which was down 41 percent.
Boating: Watercraft experienced a 19 percent increase in sales, driven by gains in kayaks.
Cycling: Dollar sales were up 6 percent overall for cycling in Q1. Specifically, bicycle sales grew 9 percent, with lifestyle/leisure bikes up 30 percent and mountain bikes up 17 percent, while BMX and road bikes saw declines. Bike parts and accessories grew, as did bike footwear and helmets.
Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service, January-March 2015
Data is collected from the athletic specialty and sporting goods channels.