We now have the retail sell thru data for July which confirms another interesting month for the golf industry. We have a short summary here:
- Total On/Off Course dollar sales in July 2021 were just about level with 2020 levels (-0.6%), but still remain 57% ahead on a YTD basis and 43% ahead of 2019 (pre pandemic)
- The categories with the most growth vs. 2020 were shoes (+8%), balls (+5%), putters (+5%), and bags (+4%)
- Categories with largest declines were wedges (-15%) and irons (-7%)
While people might initially fear this slow down in growth / contraction is a “sign of the apocalypse” for golf equipment, there are some important data points to keep in mind:
- Our primary month to compare against, July of 2020 ($398 million), was the largest sales month ever recorded by the golf equipment industry to that point in time – therefore, essentially matching that level in 2021 is quite a feat.
- YTD Total Equipment sales in 2021 are up 43% vs. 2019: a massive increase and, even in the short term, sales for the month of July 2021 were up 52% vs. the same month in 2019.There is no shortage of demand for golf equipment at the current time. Eventually it will slow, but it has yet to do so.
- The golf equipment industry, like many other American industries, continues to struggle with supply chain and manufacturing challenges, both in the US and abroad. Getting product from foreign factories into the US remains a very difficult task, and in the face of unprecedented demand, meeting trade and consumer requirements remains a serious test for all parties. This lack of inventory is causing lost sales for new premium products.