As outdoor activities continue to grow in popularity, stores selling hiking and camping gear are preparing for a busy summer season.  In today’s Insight Flash, we dig into performance among the top players in the Outdoor space, focusing on changes in market share, how much of the business is driven by the most loyal customers, and what average transaction size implies about product mix.

Spend growth in Sporting Goods has been booming in 2021.  Spend in January was up almost 50% y/y, followed by almost 30% spend growth in February.  And though March and April sales benefited from easy COVID compares, May 2021 was lapping positive 2020 growth and still saw over 40% y/y spend growth. 

Bass Pro Shops has been a leader over the last year, outperforming its top competitors and the overall Sporting Goods Subindustry during the pandemic.  Although its market share of the subindustry in May 2020 jumped 50% from 4% to 6%, share has since returned to pre-pandemic levels.  REI has seen the biggest loss in share, with its 17% market share in May 2019 dropping in half during the pandemic for May 2020, and only recapturing about half of the ground it lost in the most recent month, with a 13% share in May 2021.

Over the last year, spend in the Sporting Goods Industry overall has been highly concentrated.  The top 20% of customers represent over two-thirds of sales.  Concentration within each brand is slightly more dispersed, with the top 20% of Bass Pro Shops customers comprising 66% of spend, and the top 20% of Dick’s Sporting Goods and REI customers comprising 63% of spend.  It is somewhat surprising that REI’s concentration is only in the middle of the group, given its co-op program.

Customer Concentration

Note: For subindustry and brand, what % of spend each percentile of customers represent when customers ranked by spend amount; 364 days ending 6/13/2021

Of course, what people are buying is just as important as where they’re buying it.  Among our top Outdoor brands, Back Country and REI see the most high-dollar transactions.  These can be from customers purchasing many small items to stock up for their next adventure, or from big gear purchases.  23% of Backcountry transactions were over $200 in May, and 18% of REI transactions were over that amount.  Dick’s Sporting Goods and Bass Pro Shops only had 12% of transactions above $200.  Big 5 Sporting Goods has the lowest average basket, with only 4% of transactions above $200.  83% of Big 5’s transactions are below $100.

Ticket Buckets