SPORTING GOODS MANUFACTURERS, STORES CHANGING WITH TIMES
The sporting goods industry is adapting to customers, as
sports such as snowboarding, windsurfing, roller hockey and
camping are among the leaders in sales increases, John Simons
reports in U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT. Simons notes that the $32B
sporting goods industry "has shown little growth" in the '90s,
and experts say "interest in the old traditional sports is
waning." That's why in-line skating, along with extreme sports
such as rock climbing "have all registered triple-digit growth"
in the '90s. Manufacturers are using unfamiliar tactics to
expand the market, too. Ride, a Seattle snowboard manufacturer,
has signed a deal with Marvel Comics to design a line of
superhero snowboards for children. Activities such as camping
have also seen a jump in sales. The $1.5B outdoor equipment
market has seen sales jump 70% since '89. As for the outlets
where consumers are buying items in the changing market, they've
had to "race to keep up." Simons: "The key to rejuvenation for
the mature sporting goods industry clearly lies with the
sprightly, young companies that are developing hip new products"
(U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, 10/30 issue).