Online Sporting Apparel Sales in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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Although growth slowed during the economic recession, industry revenue increased over the past five years due to a growing acceptance of online shopping, access to the internet and participation in sports. As a result, online sales have grown as a proportion of total sporting apparel sales. Rising disposable incomes and consumer sentiment are expected to continue pushing up revenue in the coming years despite increasing competition and potential legislation from states. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Online Sporting Apparel Sales industry to its growing industry report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Industry firms benefit from rising disposable incomes and participation in online shopping

Revenue for the Online Sporting Apparel Sales industry is expected to increase at an annualized rate of 7.6% to $4.9 billion in the five years to 2012. During that time, the industry has benefitted from the growing acceptance of online shopping, increasing internet connectivity and sports participation. Nevertheless, industry growth slowed during the recession in comparison to the early and mid-2000s due to a decline in disposable income. Luckily for industry operators, rising disposable income is expected to continue driving growth in 2012. Furthermore, industry operators will benefit as online sporting apparel sales continue to grow as a proportion of total sporting apparel sales.
Although falling consumer sentiment led many consumers to hold onto sporting apparel longer than they had in the past, the proliferation of e-commerce has caused overall growth during the past five years, says IBISWorld industry analyst Nikoleta Panteva. The number of broadband connections is expected to increase in the five years to 2012. This factor has driven growth in the Online Sporting Apparel Sales industry despite the recession, as more consumers have started to rely on online retail channels. Some industry operators have also taken advantage of a tax loophole, which allows aggressive competition with traditional brick-and-mortar stores. The tax loophole essentially allows online retailers to charge discounted prices because they are not required to charge sales tax on out-of-state purchases. More states, however, are requiring online retailers to charge sales tax. Cash-strapped states are closely scrutinizing budgets and taking a second look at how online retailers are avoiding sales tax. Additionally, competition has increased as more firms have entered the industry. In the five years to 2012, industry enterprises have increased to 1,612.

Concentration among online sporting apparel retailers is low. The two largest operators are Foot Locker Inc. and Nike Inc. Competition among the 1,612 participants is high because product differentiation is low and price points tend to be uniform across similar products. As such, no single website dominates the space for athletic apparel and footwear. Market share concentration has increased slightly over the past five years, however. Large retailers carrying well-recognized brands have been able to outperform the competition and earn a larger share of the pie. Average revenue per website has also increased over the period. Concentration is expected to continue rising over the next five years as revenue grows at a faster rate than the number of industry participants. The impact of sales tax collection and rising competition is expected to limit profit margin growth over the next five years, says Panteva. IBISWorld estimates that industry profit will rise marginally in 2012, largely as a result of rising revenue and the continued streamlining of sales, customer support and inventory management systems. In the five years to 2017, industry revenue is expected to increase. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Online Sporting Apparel Sales report in the US industry page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry retails men's and women’s sports apparel via the internet. This includes online-only retailers, as well as brick-and-mortar stores that have an online presence.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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