A good start to the year

    Golf Datatech crunch the numbers to let you know how the industry is faring.

    Throughout 2021 we have compared results to the same period in 2019. This decision was taken owing to very bumpy trading brought about by Covid 19 in 2020. After a good year in 2021, compared to the last five years, the decision has been taken to revert to year-on-year statistics.

    On 19th December 2020 Boris warned the nation, following a briefing on the latest data, that the spread of a new strain of the virus was increasing rapidly. This was taking place in London and the Southeast irrespective of the tough restrictions in place. The latter was followed on 4th January 2021 by the announcement of another national lockdown commencing the following day. Once again people were instructed to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

    It doesn’t take a genius to recognise the impact on our industry, as both indoor and outdoor sports needed to close. So, January’s results this year appear to be spectacular when compared to last year owing to the lockdown that was in place at that time. A situation that will affect the first quarter’s results. After that the industry in 2021 started to recover making the comparison appropriate for the rest of the year.

    Not being locked down will account for the vast majority of the increase but the weather too will have had an impact. Temperatures for the UK overall were a little above average, rainfall was only 50% and sunshine was 132% of the average. The latter being the third sunniest since 1919. Overall, conditions that would encourage golfers to get out on their course and play.

    January’s sales in value terms compared to the same period last year showed an increase of +308%. In reality they were good even when compared to both 2019 and 2020. The spread across the product groups ranged from +275% for light durables to +466% for consumables. Drilling down even further to individual products showed the top three performances came from balls +469%, gloves 460% and woods +405%. Those at the bottom were trolleys and men’s shirts.

    Interestingly the British Retail Consortium said in their review for January 2022 that “Retailers will be relieved that we started the year without further lockdowns as consumer demand continued strongly on the High Street with sales up 11.9% on last year. However, this unusually impressive performance for January, which is traditionally a slow month, should be put in the context of last year’s lockdown restrictions”. They also reported that UK footfall on the High Street decreased by 24.2% compared to January 2020. Looking to the future, it is not the time to get overoptimistic about the months to come. With the hike in fuel prices and extra taxes some golfers may feel the pinch. Although, in the past they have shown themselves to be resilient. Let’s hope this pattern continues. GR

    Previous articleMaximising Shoe Sales in 2022
    Next articleWhy three brands are better than one…
    As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.