1997-2002 SG Sales Growth in W. North Central States Tops U.S. Average

This is the fourth in a series of analyses by the National Sporting Goods Association of regional data recently released for the U.S. 2002 Census of Retail.

MOUNT PROSPECT, IL – In the West North Central states (MN, IA, MO, ND, SD, NE, KS), overall sporting goods store sales grew 34.4% from the 1997 Census versus total U.S. growth of 23.5%. Sales for 2002 in the West North Central states reached $1.98 billion. Of that amount, $924 million moved through full-line sporting goods stores; $1.06 billion, through specialty sport shops.

Although sales in full-line sporting goods stores grew 23.3% from the 1997 Census, the number of stores declined 11.3% to 511 stores. Sales in specialty sport shops grew 45.9% while the number of shops (1,200) declined 11.2%. This activity is reflected in “Sales per Store” data, $1.8 million (up 39%) in full-line sporting goods stores and $884,000 (up 64%) in specialty sport shops.

“Sales per Employee,” an important measure of personnel productivity, was stronger in the specialty sport channel of distribution. In specialty sport stores, employees generated $122,900 in sales, up 20.4% from the previous Census. In full-line sporting goods stores, employees generated $114,300 in sales (up 3.1%).

Sales in West North Central athletic footwear stores rose to $966 million between 1997 and 2002, a 4.9% increase. The number of stores (876) generating those sales rose 2.2%. Sales per employee declined 5.7%, to $100,000.

“Residents of the West North Central states spent more than the average American in sporting goods stores and specialty sport shops, and less in athletic footwear stores,” said NSGA Vice President of Information & Research Thomas B. Doyle. “They represent 7.0% of the U.S. population, but spent 8.0% of the total dollars spent in sporting goods stores and specialty sport shops. In athletic footwear stores, they spent 4.9% of the total dollars.”

Total U.S sales in sporting goods stores, which includes full-line and specialty sports shops, rose to $25.02 billion in 2002 versus $20.04 billion in 1997.

Total U.S. sales growth was stronger in the full-line store segment, up 39% to $12.98 billion in 2002 versus $9.31 billion in 1997. Sales in specialty sports shops rose 12% to $12.05 billion versus $10.73 billion in 1997. In the previous Census of Retail, sales had grown more rapidly in specialty sports shops than in full line stores, 42% versus 35%.

Total U.S sales in athletic footwear stores reached $7.1 billion, a 21.5% increase from the $5.85 billion reported in the 1997 Census. The 1997 Census had shown a 66.5% increase over the previous census (1992).

The U.S. Bureau of the Census conducts the Census of Retail Trade once every five years. The data was collected in 2003 for the 2002 calendar year. The first data was released in late 2004 and final data released in late 2005.

The data for full-line sporting goods stores, specialty sport shops and athletic footwear stores been gathered into a special report “Sporting Goods Stores: Sales, Number and Distribution.”

The report, which provides the data for the 50 states and the District of Columbia, aggregates that data for the nine U.S. census regions and finally for the total U.S. Cost of the 57-page report is $95 to NSGA members; $150, to non-members.)

Founded in 1929, NSGA's mission is to help all members profit in a competitive marketplace. The Association organizes and hosts the annual NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit, the sporting goods industry's premier educational and networking event (Next: May 21-24, 2006, at the Westin LaCantera Resort in San Antonio, Texas).

For more information on NSGA member services, visit the Association home page (www.nsga.org); call Rhonda Onuszko at NSGA, (847) 296-6742, Ext. 130; e-mail: ronuszko@nsga.org; or fax (847) 391-9827.