Leisure Trends queried members of its Most Active Americans Panel to see how perceptions of the economy might influence purchase behavior this fall when retailers transition to more expensive fall and winter merchandise.
Asked how the current prices for food and gas will influence their spending on apparel and gear, 26.3 percent said it would have no influence. Twenty-three percent said they would continue to buy sports products but only if they are on sale, while about 14.5 percent said they would buy fewer items but of higher quality so they will last longer. Only 2.8 percent said they would buy more sports products.
Leisure Trends' analysts tested price elasticity on the panelists and found retailers can pass on some price increases this fall without causing sticker shock. Core buyers will tolerate increases of up to 10 percent for insulated parkas, 6 percent for shell tops, 10 percent for fleece tops, 13 percent for fleece bottoms, 10 percent for vests and 20 percent for sweaters.
They are not going to sit by the wayside: they plan on playing whether they have the latest and the greatest or not, Leisure Trends reported. But almost 80 percent of respondents did admit the price of gas is the biggest barrier to participation.
Leisure Trends' MAAP is a consumer database with more that 2 million consumers and a research panel comprised of highly active and engaged outdoor and sports enthusiasts. The data was collected at the end of July 2008.