Sporting and Recreational Goods Wholesalers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 4,600 sporting goods wholesalers in the US distribute merchandise related to sports and recreational activities. Major product categories include small firearms, ammunition, and shooting aids; athletic equipment and accessories; bicycles and bicycle parts and accessories; swimming pools and related supplies; and playground equipment. Other product categories include camping and fishing equipment; marine pleasure craft, equipment and accessories; skiing and snowboarding equipment; and billiards, pool, and bowling equipment and accessories.

Seasonal Demand

Demand for various types of sporting goods varies throughout the year, depending on the sport.

Dependence On Imports

The majority of sporting goods are manufactured in China or Taiwan, and then shipped to the US by sea.

Industry size & Structure

The average sporting goods wholesaler operates out of a single location, employs 14 workers, and generates about $10 million annually.

    • The sporting goods wholesale industry consists of about 4,600 companies that employ about 66,500 workers and generate about $45 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom; the top 50 companies account for about 51% of industry revenue.
    • Large companies include Big Rock Sports and BSN Sports.
                            Industry Forecast
                            Sporting and Recreational Goods Wholesalers Industry Growth
                            Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                            Recent Developments

                            May 2, 2024 - Import Cargo Volume Expected Up in May
                            • Despite new supply chain challenges, inbound cargo volume at major container ports in the US is projected to exceed 2 million units in May 2024 for the first time since October 2023, according to the Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. The May projection is up 5.5% from a year ago, and June’s forecast of 2 million TEU is expected to be 8.9% higher year over year. Shipping routes have been strained by difficulties requiring rerouting around the Red Sea and Suez Canal and by March’s shutdown of the Port of Baltimore after an accident at the Francis Scott Key Bridge. According to Jonathan Gold, the NRF VP for Supply Chain and Customs Policy, “US imports are continuing to increase despite another disruption impacting US ports.” Gold added that the logistics challenges show the ongoing need for flexibility and resilience in a company’s supply chain.
                            • Consumer confidence levels fell in April 2024 from March 2024, marking a third consecutive month of weakness, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index was 97 in April 2024 from 103.1 in March 2024. According to Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board, “Confidence retreated further in April, reaching its lowest level since July 2022 as consumers became less positive about the current labor market situation, and more concerned about future business conditions, job availability, and income.” Peterson added that confidence declined among consumers of all age groups and for all income groups except those in the $25,000 to $49,999 range. Plans for vacations, home purchases, and large appliances decreased on a six-month basis.
                            • US manufacturing activity contracted in April 2024 after a brief expansion in March, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The Manufacturing PMI registered 49.2% in April, down 1.1 percentage points from the 50.3% recorded in March. A reading above 50% indicates manufacturing expansion. Prior to March’s expansion, US manufacturing activity had fallen below the baseline for growth for 16 consecutive months. April’s New Orders Index was in the contraction zone at 49.1%. The April Production Index was 51.3%, a decrease from March’s 54.6%. Nine manufacturing industries tracked by the ISM reported growth in April: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Primary Metals; Textile Mills; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Petroleum & Coal Products; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; and Plastics & Rubber Products. The industries reporting contraction in April were Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Machinery; Furniture & Related Products; Wood Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Fabricated Metal Products; and Paper Products.
                            • Sporting and recreational goods wholesalers will have to monitor minimum wage changes, as 22 states increased their minimum wages in January 2024, according to Chain Store Age. About half of the increases are automatic adjustments linked to inflation. States that raised their minimum wages in January 2024 include Hawaii ($14), Maryland ($15), Nebraska ($12), and Washington ($16.28). Several states are set to boost their minimum wage levels later this year, including Florida (up to $13 in September) and Nevada (up to $12 in July). According to the Economic Policy Institute, nearly 40 US cities and counties will increase their minimum wage rates above state levels at the start of the new year. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and more than 20 states, primarily located in the South and the Midwest, use the federal minimum as their wage floor.
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