WHAT SHIFTING PATTERNS IN SPORTS PARTICIPATION MEANS FOR SPORTING GOODS STORES

The Sports and Fitness Industry Association has noted a decline in participation among U.S. youth in the most popular team sports – basketball, football, baseball and soccer – since 2008. In fact, combined participation in these sports decreased an average of four percent among children ages six through 17.

However, there is a silver lining. Despite declining numbers in traditional team sports, participation has increased in a number of other sports among those ages six to 18:

  • Youth lacrosse participation increased by 158 percent
  • Hockey involvement increased by 64 percent
  • Disc Golf participants now measure over 12 million

All of these sports require a significant investment in equipment and apparel.

A Clear Opportunity for Resale

One overwhelming factor contributing to the decline in youth sports participation is cost.

While this comes as another blow to traditional sporting goods stores, which are already struggling, it has created a fantastic opportunity for the resale industry to provide children and their families with more affordable sports equipment options.

Resale stores such as Play It Again Sports, a nationwide franchise for new and gently used sports equipment, help ease the financial burden of the game by offering considerable savings on sports equipment.

Filling a Community Need

Meeting the needs of consumers of all economic levels, Play It Again Sports also provides local families the opportunity to sell their gently used equipment, rather than simply throwing it away or trying to sell it in a garage sale. This is a great option for families whose children may have moved on from a particular sport, as well as those in need of upgrading their children’s equipment to the next size up.

In addition to benefitting communities by recycling equipment back into local leagues and teams, Play It Again Sports also offers aspiring entrepreneurs a fantastic opportunity to join a lucrative industry through a business model with low overhead and high returns.

In fact, annual sales of sporting goods equipment, fitness equipment and sporting goods footwear reached nearly $65 billion in 2015. Between 2001 and 2016, average store sales volume for Play It Again Sports franchised stores has increased dramatically as well. The brand has been able to achieve this type of growth by offering a combination of new and gently used equipment, with used equipment making up nearly 40 percent of sales.

The unique retail concept is owned by Winmark Corporation, a pioneer in retail resale franchising, and parent company of Plato’s Closet, Music Go Round, Style Encore and Once Upon A Child, which are also leaders in their respective resale niches.

Interested in a business opportunity in the thriving resale industry? Click here to learn more about Winmark Corporation’s franchise brands.

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