Even in a post-pandemic world, the $24+ billion resale industry is expected to continue to grow. Play It Again Sports® is a prime example. The #1 used sporting goods retail franchise remained strong throughout 2020 and is on track to continue growing through 2021.
The numbers speak for themselves, as Play It Again Sports shows no sign of slowing down. Across the network of Play It Again Sports stores, the 2020 average unit volume (AUV) grew by 13 percent over 2019’s figures to $921,510.* Additionally, franchisees within the top quartile of owners saw their average gross sales increase by 18 percent in 2020, reaching $1,701.930.*
Let’s take a look back on how our sporting goods franchise delivered such a strong performance, even during such a turbulent economic time.
Adapting to Changes in Consumer Behavior
One key component of businesses succeeding during the pandemic was the ability to adapt quickly. Luckily, we were ahead of the game.
For instance, we launched our ecommerce platform eight years ago with Music Go Round®. Play It Again Sports joined the established platform in May 2019, which offers tens of thousands of quality used items to our customers. Our platform allows customers to research and purchase items while providing flexibility in how they receive them. Our multi-channel business model allows customers to have the option of picking up their products in-store, curbside delivery or having them shipped to their home. Our ecommerce platform played a substantial role in ensuring sales growth throughout 2020.
We also adapted our strategy based on the increased number of consumers exercising at home. As many gyms and fitness centers shut their doors to the public, consumers adapted to remain active wherever and whenever they could. In many cases, they spent the past year and a half recreating the gym environment in the comfort of their own homes.
According to NPD, a market research company, home workout equipment in Q3 of 2020 doubled its sales compared to Q3 of 2019. According to the report, every category showed a significant uptick in sales, and cardio equipment, like treadmills, led the way.
For example, Oregon-based Play It Again Sports owner Jay DeKalb took phone orders and requests through social media during the initial wave of the pandemic and offered curbside pickup and delivery. DeKalb sold nearly 90 percent of his free weight inventory by the end of March 2020. Similarly, John Acheson, an owner in Bozeman, Montana, also saw demand for fitness equipment — free weights and exercise machines — increase as stay-at-home orders and social distancing took effect.
In fact, many predict that the at-home workout trend is expected to stay for good, especially with the rapid emergence of virtual fitness classes and the variety of equipment accessories available.
Welcoming New Stores and Franchisees
Play It Again Sports has 274 stores in the U.S. and Canada. We added three new franchise agreements in 2020 and already opened one store and added two signed agreements in 2021.
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, we have high expectations for 2021. An increasing number of kids will be resuming their team sports, and many are also looking forward to resuming individual sports, like golf and biking.
Play It Again Sports plays a crucial role in the lives of families across the country. Typically, the average American family spends about $700 annually on their child’s sports activities, but some parents are willing to shell out the hefty total of $35,000 annually for everything from extra lessons to higher-end equipment.
Families who earn $50,000 or less per year cited cost as the top reason their kids don’t participate in organized sports. These children are then forced to sit on the sidelines, while others get to reap the benefits of playing a sport. These benefits include improved physical, emotional and interpersonal well-being for children, from better vision to motor skills development and self-confidence.
With the addition of a Play It Again Sports franchise to the community, parents can get the sports equipment their children need to play at a fraction of the retail cost.
Get Started With Play It Again Sports
Want to know how you can get involved with our sports retail franchise? We currently have over 500 territories available for new franchisees.
To learn more about our franchise opportunities, get started by downloading our franchise brochure today.
*The Average Store numbers are the 2020 Average Gross Sales and Average Gross Profit amounts stated in Item 19 of the 2021 Play It Again Sports® Franchise Disclosure Document (as reported by 265 of the 266 stores that had been in operation at least one year as of December 26, 2020). Of the 265 reporting stores, 100 or 38% of the stores attained or exceeded the Average Gross Sales and 104 or 39% of the stores attained or exceeded the Average Gross Profit. The Top Quartile Average Gross Sales and Average Gross Profit only relates to 66 of the reporting Play It Again Sports® Stores who ranked in the top 25% of the gross sales range. Of the 66 reporting stores in the Top Quartile, 21 or 32% of the stores attained or exceeded the Top Quartile Average Gross Sales and 20 or 30% of the stores attained or exceeded the Top Quartile Average Gross Profit. A new franchisee’s results will likely differ from these results.