Leisure Trends report reveals enlightening ethnic buying habits

The October issue of the LeisureTrak report, published by Leisure Trends, focuses on ethnic groups in the United States and provides some interesting insight into their shopping and recreational behaviors. The full report is available for $950 from Leisure Trends, or, if you're an Outdoor Industry Association member, you'll be getting the full report for free as a member benefit. SNEWS® is providing a few snippets below that we found most interesting...
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The October issue of the LeisureTrak report, published by Leisure Trends, focuses on ethnic groups in the United States and provides some interesting insight into their shopping and recreational behaviors.

The full report is available for $950 from Leisure Trends, or, if you're an Outdoor Industry Association member, you'll be getting the full report for free as a member benefit. SNEWS® is providing a few snippets below that we found most interesting:

  • Black-Americans spend on average $24 more on outdoor footwear and $27 more on outdoor clothing than do White-Americans each year. Hispanics spend $22 more on footwear, $14 more on clothing. (The Asian-American sample in the study was too small to be reliable.)
  • On average, the Black-American population spent $171 on outdoor footwear; Hispanics, $168; and Whites, $146. On clothing, the Black population spent $251; Hispanics, $238; and Whites, $224.
  • No surprise that Whites are the big spenders on outdoor equipment: $615 compared to $335 for Hispanics and $198 among Blacks.
  • However, Hispanics were the most likely to have purchased outdoor equipment (34 percent) and accessories (32 percent) in the past year. Whites were 26 percent and 27 percent, respectively. Blacks that reported purchasing outdoor equipment represented only 17 percent, although the likelihood of making an accessories purchase was 23 percent.
  • When it comes to figuring out where ethnic groups prefer to shop, Leisure Trends said that Blacks prefer to shop at sporting goods chains and mass merchants while shunning most other channels of distribution. Mass merchants do best for both equipment and accessories. They draw nearly a third of those buying apparel, clearly the price-sensitive shoppers. But when it comes to fashion items, 46 percent of Blacks turn to sporting goods chains. Hispanics are nearly as likely as Whites to shop at independent or outdoor specialty shops, as well as department stores. They head to sporting goods and outdoor chains for apparel and equipment. Their purchasing habits are similar to the White population.

The LeisureTRAK Report, produced by The Leisure Trends Group in Boulder, Colo., is based on a bi-monthly poll of 1,000 American adults age 16-older, with results projectable to the entire U.S. population with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. Additional data from the LeisureTRAK survey can be found at www.leisuretrends.com.

SNEWS® View: Opportunity knocks for those who are ready. We wonder if one of the reasons that the majority of the Black population appears to prefer to shop at discount and sporting goods chain stores rather than at outdoor specialty stores might have something to do with the fact we have not been effectively marketing our message to them? Or staffing our stores with anyone they might relate better to? And while Hispanics are more likely to shop at outdoor specialty stores than other ethnic groups outside of the White population, it sure appears as if our industry could do a much better job of marketing to their needs and interests as well. We have been handed a golden opportunity here as an industry. OIA's studies and research are pointing to untapped potential in the population base, and not just among ethnic groups. Federal land agencies are reaching out to our industry to help them find ways to play the fitness message to a wider population. And the obesity alarm keeps ringing loud and shrill with an increasing percentage of the population, of all ethnic persuasions, actively seeking ways to find and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Note that it's the non-white population that overall shows worse statistics when it comes to health and weight. It is time to buckle down, gang, check any preconceived notions about consumers and price-sensitivity at the door, lose any attitude that might lend folks to believe we're a private club of elitists, and start putting some muscle and imagination behind finding effective ways to attract that broader audience of current and potential outdoor participants that need us. We need them just as badly.

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