November Equipment Retail Sales and Rounds Played Remain Strong, Apparel May be Turning a Corner

For all of you who might have been enjoying Christmas cheer during the few days before the holiday, Golf Datatech released the following key category metrics:

November 2020 was the sixth consecutive increase in equipment sales (+60% for the month!), and for the full year sales are up nearly 7%, even after three months of severe contraction in March-May. Equipment sales for 2020 YTD are led by Golf Bags (+26%) and Wedges (+23%), with the Off Course channel (including Online Sales) doing much better than the Green Grass.

Golf Apparel sales, which have struggled so mightily for the year, were up 13% for the month, but still remain 17% below 2019 levels. The Apparel category was decimated (-20% YTD) in the Green Grass channel during 2020, as golfers were not allowed, or were strongly encouraged, not to spend additional time in the pro shop, thus reducing potential shopping time and exposure. At the same time, the Off Course Specialty channel (much smaller of the two and includes Online Sales) was close to level in apparel for the year.

Rounds played, the engine that drives the golf business, were up 57% for November and 13% year to date. The combination of lockdown inspired participation with a year of superb weather for golf (not seen since 2012) kept the golf courses full.

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