Industry Experiences The Third Largest Single-Year Increase Since 2011

(May 30, 2024) – The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has released the 2024 State of the Industry Report, highlighting 4.2% industry growth, favorable profitability and inventory trends, and robust sports and fitness participation rates.  The 43-page report features in-depth analysis of the trends and issues affecting the sports and fitness products business, including participation, economic performance, and the industry environment. This year’s State of the Industry findings premiered in conjunction with SFIA’s Super Regional Event yesterday, Wednesday, May 29 in New York City, and reflect executive surveys on a variety of industry-specific indicators.

The sporting goods industry experienced a 4.2% growth in 2023, slightly trailing the U.S. GDP growth rate of 4.9%. Historically, any growth above 4% has been considered healthy for the industry. The 4.2% growth rate is the highest single-year increase since 2011, with the exception of 2021 and 2022, where we saw an incredible 15.8% and 4.3%, respectively. This coincides with a year in which we saw the lowest number of total inactive Americans (64.9 million people) since SFIA began tracking the metric.

In 2023, over 58% of companies reported increased profitability, surpassing the 55.2% percent rate of 2022. This number is higher than all previous years since 2015, with the one exception being the boom-year 2021 when it was slightly lower at 59.1%. On the other side of the coin, 18.2% of companies reported that profitability had decreased. This positive trend aligns with pre-pandemic levels and is the lowest figure we have seen since the pandemic – indicating recovery in the industry.

“As participation in sports and fitness activity is at historically strong levels at both the CORE and Casual levels, the industry is growing and executives feel positive about the future. Our member companies are meeting this demand by delivering high-quality products, innovation, and attractive looks,” states Tom Cove, President & CEO, SFIA. “At the same time, SFIA research shows our companies remain highly concerned by macroeconomic factors such as stubborn inflation, potential recession, and recurring supply chain disruptions.”

The report showed that inventory levels have normalized, and only 33% of companies reported year-end inventory levels are up compared to 67% in 2022. Looking ahead, companies are optimistic about 2024, with 86.5% of survey respondents predicting domestic sales growth, and 65.4% predicting international sales growth. These are both at the highest levels we have seen in the last five years.  As far as concerns for executives in 2024, increasing market share was the top concern, followed by potential economic recession and inflation at numbers two and three.

“There are many reasons to feel optimistic about the industry as we factor in both participation and business intelligence data,” states Cove. “If Americans continue to make active lifestyles a priority, which the year-over-year data suggests will be the case, we see the state of the industry continuing to grow and remain strong.”

The State of the Industry Report is free to SFIA Members and is available to the public for purchase by clicking here for $650.

The report is provided free of charge to members of the media. If you are interested in a copy of this report or an interview with an SFIA representative, please contact Lisa Futterman at [email protected].

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ABOUT SFIA: The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation, as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit sfia.org.

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