Disappointing December Equipment Sales

The Retail Market Share Reports for US sales through the month of December, and total 2022, for Bags, Balls, Distance Device, Gloves, Irons, Putters, Shoes, Wedges, Woods are now available.

December 2022 was a very difficult month for retail golf sales in the US when compared to the same month last year: down 14.7% in total, with every product category declining.  However, even though sales were down significantly, it is still the third largest December in history, behind only 2020 and 2021.

Total US Equipment December 2022

On-Off Course December ’22 vs ’21: Dollars -14.7%
On-Off Course December ’22 vs ’19: Dollars +29.7%

On-Off Course YTD ’22 vs ’21: Dollars -3.6%
On-Off Course YTD ’22 vs ’19: Dollars +39.4%

The US golf equipment industry faced many challenges in December 2022, including terrible weather across much of the country. This was especially difficult for key seasonal markets where the game is played during the winter.

Other factors that impacted golf retail sales include:-

  • The stock market, which was down substantially. Lower asset valuations often have a negative impact on purchase intent for premium priced durable goods like golf clubs.
  • The Fed continues to raise interest rates in an attempt to cool down the economy and reduce inflation which is the highest its been in 40 years.  The net effect has been to drive real estate prices lower, which is another hit to asset values and is detrimental to purchasing high ticket items like golf clubs.
  • Inflation is taking a large chunk out of the pay checks of average Americans, reducing their discretionary income and requiring them to use their funds for staples.
  • Economists and journalists continue to beat the drum suggesting a recession is a strong possibility

On the latest sales numbers, Golf Datatech co-founder John Krzynowek commented, “The net of all these headwinds is a product category in a severe decline in December. However, on a full year basis, 2022 was only 3% below 2021, and was the second largest year in the history of golf equipment.

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