October Sporting Goods Store Sales Decidedly Negative

The Monthly Retail Trade Survey, prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau, reported sales in sporting goods stores of $2.60 billion (preliminary) for the most recent reporting month (October), a 2.3% decline from $2.66 billion in October 2007.
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The Monthly Retail Trade Survey, prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau, reported sales in sporting goods stores of $2.60 billion (preliminary) for the most recent reporting month (October), a 2.3% decline from $2.66 billion in October 2007. This is the first time sales have fallen since September of 2007 and follows a 0.4% increase in September. It is also the steepest decline since June of 2002, when sales fell 3.3%.

Sales growth year-to-date in 2008 is less than half that of the first 10 months of last year. Sales for the first 10 months of 2008 were $30.47 billion, up 3.7% from the first 10 months of 2007. At this time in 2007, sales were up 8.9% over the previous year.

Sales for 2007 grew more slowly than in 2006. Sales for the 12 months of 2007 reached $37.1 billion, up 8.1% from 2006 sales of $34.3 billion. Sales in 2006 were up 11.0% over the previous year. The 2006 growth represented the strongest increase in the past 10 years.

Total sales for calendar year 2005 were $30.89 billion, up 7.0% from 2004. In 2004 sales were $28.85 billion, up 6.2% versus 2003. Sporting goods store sales for all of 2003 were $27.17 billion, a 3.1% increase versus 2002 when sales were up a meager 0.2%.

The estimated annual sales for sporting goods stores in the U.S. Census Bureau Monthly Retail Trade is consistent with sporting goods sales reported in the NSGA study "The Sporting Goods Market," a fact that pleases NSGA. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates are based on data from the Monthly Retail Trade Survey, Annual Retail Trade Survey, and administrative records and have been adjusted using results of the most recent economic census.

For a full comparative chart of sales in sporting goods stores, visit the members-only "Research & Statistics" area of the NSGA website, www.nsga.org.

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