While the equipment category moved into positive territory for the first time in eight months in October of 2016, the same can’t be said for golf apparel which continues to lag vs. year ago. Golf Apparel sales for October thru the On/Off/Online channels failed to improve for the eighth consecutive month, with Women’s Tops (sweaters, sweatshirts, vests) the only category showing growth vs. YAG.
Sales thru both the On and the Off/Online channels are down 5%+ YTD, and not surprisingly trade inventories are up vs. last year in most categories, with Tops the one category with less product on hand.
Average Selling Prices are up across most product categories and as a result unit volumes are dropping. In a category where “price” and “sales” are most often cited as the primary reasons for purchasing, moving pricing to higher price points will take time and patience from the retailers and the manufacturers.
With the Holiday Shopping Season kicking in today, the majority of economic forecasts call for an upbeat/positive year. The inventory is in place in Golf, let’s hope the consumer does their part and the industry turns around it’s decline.