We now have the numbers for July's UK golf retail sales and here is a short summary by industry expert, Phil Barnard.
July 2021 was the 3rd biggest month we have ever recorded. It was bigger than July 2020, which was the record month until earlier this year. In total value July 2021 was 2.9% bigger than 2020 and was 27.8% bigger than July 2019. Year to date we are now 50.9% up on 2020 and for the first time up on 2019 by 2.3%.
All categories weren't equal. Irons and woods saw some growth but this time it was the apparel categories and balls that saw the largest changes. Men's shirts jumped 50% on last year finally showing some positivity for the embattled apparel categories.
A number of categories were down, including trolleys and distance devices. These have both been hot categories and shown strong in previous months. It's now a question of whether the demand for these products has been satisfied, or is stock effecting sales?
Certainly for trolleys, stock might be an issue. While the off course has increased stock holding on the last 2 years, the on course retailers seem to have a lot less - nearly 50% down in units on 2019.
The stock numbers are a little misleading. Initially, things look good, with most categories up on last year. However if we take a longer view, we can see that all but balls and distance devices are down on 2019 and most by a lot. Irons are down 29% on two years ago. However, these figures only tell us part of the story.
Stocking in the key hardware categories is very different on and off course. Wood and Iron inventories are down double digits on course - irons down a massive 53% on 2019. This is not the case off course with both categories being in a stronger position than 2019. Off course retailers seem to have taken a chance and stocked up in key areas to try and ride the wave of demand.
When we look at our graphs for sales value by month for the last 4 years, we can see that once the market hits a peak, it typically trends down in a fairly consistent manner.
The last 3 years all run in a parallel direction to the black trend line. On that basis, we would hope that 2021 will work in the same vein. It has done so for the last 3 months. The only thing that might create a few bumps is lack of stock and the odd bit of extreme weather.
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