First there was a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. The question was would it materialise? Then, in June there were clear signs of an upward trend. Now, the numbers for July confirm that the promised bounce back has arrived for the golf industry. Sales in value terms saw a growth of +24.2% compared to last year and +36.5% against July 2018. Great news – long may it last!
Four out of the five product groups reported by Golf Datatech in July were up in value terms ranging from +16.1% for consumables to +50.6% for the all important club group, which accounts for the largest share of the product mix. The only group down was apparel at -20.1% against 2019 and – 9.7% against 2018. Unit sales that have recently languished behind value sales also put in a good performance ranging from +19.3% for consumables to + 43.0% for clubs.
The increases in monthly sales are naturally good news but it will take golf retailers many months to catch up on months of lost sales. Year to date figures as a result are still substantially down on the same period last year. Currently they stand at -32.2% against last year and -30.0 versus 2018. However, these are a major improvement compared to June when year to date figures were -43.6% against last year and -42.5 against 2018.
It’s always well worthwhile to put the golf industry’s performance into context with both the weather and retail sales in general. So, how was the weather? Mean temperatures were below the long-term average, rainfall was higher at 122% and sunshine was only 83% of the average. Broadly similar conditions to last year, although the south this year had substantially less sunshine.
Turning now to retail sales, Helen Dickinson Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium confirmed that “July saw the second month of growth as lockdown measures eased and demand gradually began to return in some places. Many shops continued to struggle as footfall was down, with many people still reluctant to go out, and fewer impulse purchases”. The result was a growth in sales of 3.2% compared to July 2019 with online sales putting in a particularly strong performance. Against this background and relatively poor weather the golf industry put in a particularly
Unfortunately, one Swallow doesn’t make a summer! The Covid-19 infection rate is currently increasing. However, more people are self-isolating following trips abroad and there are an increasing number of local lock downs. Hopefully these will have a positive effect, giving the industry the chance to continue its recovery. GR
Golf Datatech is a world leader in golf industry research. It provides the trade with specialised market research covering retail sales, inventory, pricing, distribution, along with strategic sales and marketing consultancy.
In the UK, Golf Datatech research is based on an average of 2,000,000 records per month, recorded by EPOS systems at the point of sale.
For greater detail contact John Hassett on 07775 951794