Industry Sees Some Positive Movement on Sales & Return to Activity

May 2020 Survey Analyzes Industry Response to COVID-19 Environment

SILVER SPRING, MD (June 18, 2020) – The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA)released the 2nd edition of its monthly COVID-19 Industry Impact Report, addressing financial impact, industry response and future projections amid the pandemic. Though most product categories reflect considerable decreased sales year over year, 56 percent of respondents reported sales growth from April to May 2020.

Companies are working to conserve cash, except when it comes to e-commerce. Over 50 percent of respondents have increased investments in their company’s website since the pandemic began, and 36 percent have invested more in digital and/or mobile advertisements. Over the last month, there has been marked improvement in distribution and fulfillment center supply chain. This has been critical to support high demand for e-commerce sales.

When asked about the expectation for “some semblance of a return to pre-pandemic sales,” 60 percent of the industry projects sales to return to pre-COVID-19 numbers in 2021 or later.

“The industry is being challenged right now, but we are finding several pockets of hope,” said Tom Cove, CEO and President of the SFIA. “Amid the stay-at-home orders, companies shifted quickly to adapt business operations and marketing strategies. They focused their energy on e-commerce, and worked to maintain accessible and relevant communications with their consumers. They also prioritized product that could be used on an individual basis and at home to keep sales afloat. Our industry has proved to be resilient over the past few months. At the same time, it’s tough out there and no one sees the road back as easy or quick.”

The survey found the industry was more optimistic about a return to play for youth sports in May than they were in April. Eighty percent of respondents believe youth sports will be back by September- October, effectively the start of the 2020-21 school year. In contrast, health clubs and fitness studios are anticipated to be open by July-August 2020. Respondents indicated they felt availability of a COVID-19 vaccine will play a more critical in the return to youth sports than the reopening of gyms and studios.

To download the full SFIA COVID-19 Industry Impact Report – May 2020, click here.

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