Sales of Sports Instruments Increase 6 Percent, NPD Group Reports

Fitness Trackers and Solar Power Products are Growing

Port Washington, NY, March 31, 2015 –The sports instruments* market hit the ground running in 2015, growing 6 percent in dollar sales and 2 percent in unit sales in the 12 months ending January 2015 (Feb’14-Jan’15), according to global information company The NPD Group. The category reached $382.5 million, compared to $359.9 million the previous year**.

In line with the trend that started in 2013, pods/fitness trackers more than doubled in dollars over the past year, from $27.2 million to $71.7 million. The newer kids on the block, solar power products, are performing well, with dollar sales that increased 9 percent through January, more than doubling in percentage growth from the year before (4 percent) and becoming an $8.7 million industry. While action video cameras, another class of instruments which has risen in popularity in recent years, also experienced growth (2 percent), its growth rate slowed considerably compared to the year before (38 percent).

“Fitness trackers have changed the way America moves. While they are appealing to active consumers, the mere act of owning one also provides greater incentive and motivation to those looking to get into shape,” said Matt Powell, sports industry analyst, The NPD Group. “These devices have added a new dimension to fitness, and as they become more sophisticated, measuring additional data, their popularity will continue to rise.”

GPS accessories grew 13 percent in dollar sales, though GPS systems have experienced declines for two consecutive years, as have compasses and wrist instruments/watches, the largest class of instruments based on dollar sales.

“Products that combine fitness tracking with social media will likely be the next must-have items in the sporting goods industry,” added Powell. “Their style and multipurpose capabilities will resonate with a broad range of consumers. Overall, it is an interesting and exciting time for the instruments industry.”

*Sports instruments include action video cameras, binoculars, calorie counters, compasses, GPS systems and accessories, MP3/music systems and accessories, pedometers, photo equipment accessories, pods/fitness trackers, solar power products, watches, and other wrist instruments;

**Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Athletic Specialty/Sporting Goods, Outdoor Specialty, Sport Specialty Ecommerce, Run Specialty, and Bike Specialty, 12 months ending January 2015

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