There are really three different types of consumers (approximately 90 percent of all industry sales): individuals, teams or institutions; and corporations. The consumer market is defined as individual purchases for the buyer’s own use or as a gift. Within the consumer market, there are considerable variations in the relative importance of different retail outlets. Economic considerations and overall retailing trends have exerted a major impact on retailing within the industry, in the form of retailing company consolidations, rapid growth in the size of typical full-line sporting goods stores in Baton Rouge and the growing trend toward public ownership of retailing firms. Other trends impacting the consumer segment of the industry include an expanding role of department and discount stores in the sports apparel market, and the growing ability of traditional full-line sporting goods stores to sell high-performance products, which historically has been the province of sports retailing specialists.
Full-line sporting goods stores
Full-line sporting goods stores have experienced a dramatic change over the last 30 years, from basically locally-owned stores to the national and retail chains of today that dominate the full-line sporting goods retail landscape. Not only have chains become the dominant factor, but store size has also increased dramatically. It’s not unusual to find full-line sporting goods stores of at least 50,000 square feet —with many even larger than that—compared historically with stores in the 10,000-15,000 square foot range. Larger stores have several advantages, not the least of which is to enable full-line sporting goods retailers to give the appearance of lower prices as they compete with mass merchants who have aggressively increased their involvement in sporting goods, particularly since athletic apparel and footwear have become so important within the overall marketplace for sporting goods.
Interestingly enough, while it might seem that larger full-line retailers would inhibit growth of specialty sporting goods stores in Baton Rouge, the opposite has actually happened. Specialty stores, which cater to experienced, performance-oriented customers, have actually grown in importance, and specialty store chains are now a major factor in this retailing category. With the enormous growth of the industry over the past 30 years and the increasing importance of technology- driven products, it is the personal expertise uniquely delivered by sporting goods specialty retailers that has become more important than ever. The team market includes schools and amateur and professional leagues. The commercial markets include private clubs, fitness clubs, and corporations. Team dealers continue to dominate sales of equipment and apparel to sports teams and leagues. Sales to commercial markets are made primarily by vendors or wholesalers.
The Author Jeson Clarke is a professional writer, presently writing for baton rouge camping store
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