Saint Cloud, United States: Golf Datatech, LLC, the golf industry’s leading independent research firm for consumer, trade and retail golf trends, has announced its core findings on the 2018 golf apparel market.
The detailed analysis, which is geared toward manufacturers, marketers, retailers, PGA professionals, media and other businesses involved in the apparel sector of the golf industry, is part of Golf Datatech’s on-going and unprecedented apparel research that includes monthly data reported throughout the year on the state of market in the United States, both on and off the course.
John Krzynowek, a Partner with Golf Datatech, LLC, said: “2018 was a challenging year for golf apparel sales in the United States, with dollar sales down over six per cent. However, the bulk of the decline came in the On Course/Green Grass Channel, which is also the larger of the top two retail segments (On and Off Course).
“Today, the On Course/Green Grass channel makes up approximately 78 per cent of total sales with the Off Course Specialty channel, including the Online sales segment, making up the other 22 per cent. In 2018, however, sales in the On Course channel were down nine per cent, while the Off Course channel was up six per cent.
“While there is no single definitive reason for the decline, Golf Datatech’s long-standing data-driven research strongly suggests that poor weather, which equated to significantly fewer rounds played, resulted in far fewer players moving through golf shops.
“2018 was a difficult year for rounds played, with national rounds down nearly five per cent, primarily as a function of weather, which clearly played a factor in the decline of apparel sales.
“No one wants to say they missed their sales target because of the weather, but in a highly seasonal business, like golf, if it’s raining or cold, golfers stay away from the golf course and don’t walk through the Pro Shop. As a result, the reduction in golf shop traffic means golfers have less exposure to new designs, materials, and displays, and retailers miss out on ‘spur-of-moment’ purchases of new apparel.”
Golf Datatech’s 2018 apparel market findings are the culmination of annual research and monthly reporting on the overall business and retail channels. Between both the on and off course channels, the company tracks the percentage of sales for all products sold.
Krzynowek said: “Not surprisingly, in 2018 On Course/Green Grass golf shops sold more shirts than the Off Course Specialty stores, utilising the power of the logo to sell shirts that are specific to their golf course/golf shop. In contrast, the Off Course stores, with significantly more space to carry various sizes and length options, sell a much higher percentage of bottoms (shorts, pants, skorts, leggings). Off Course shops also carry a wider range of price points.”
Golf Datatech’s Apparel Reports, which include national and regional retail editions that are released monthly to subscribers, also include market share data broken out by brands, actual sale price points, inventory levels and distribution levels (what per cent of shops stock one brand versus another) and total overall market levels for each product category.
The reports provide companies/brands, both large or small, with insight on what the marketplace is doing, which price points are selling best or not, how their company ranks within the market, within regions.