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Wholesale Sporting Goods

Did you know that the US sporting goods industry witnessed explosive growth in 2022?

It wasn’t just a minor surge, rather it was a record-breaking leap to $116.5 billion in wholesale sales, marking a $20 billion growth from the past two years.

Athletic apparel led this growth, generating $42 billion in wholesale sales, followed by athletic footwear which independently pulled in $20 billion in revenue.

These aren’t the figures to ignore; they’re a clear indicator of a market that is ripe with growth opportunities.

Beyond apparel and footwear, there’s a thriving sports equipment market that caters to both commercial customers like health and fitness clubs and individuals seeking home fitness solutions.

This sector deserves attention too as it’s forecasted to experience significant growth.

According to a Straits Research report, the global sports equipment market size was worth USD 341 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 611.27 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.7%.

With so many options in the sporting goods industry, it may seem overwhelming to decide which categories to consider.

However, understanding the market dynamics, purchasing behavior, and trends specific to each category can help you decide what to invest in.

Investment Opportunities in the Wholesale Sporting Goods Industry

Let’s explore some good investment options:

1. Home Fitness Equipment

The home fitness market is growing remarkably due to increasing health awareness and the convenience of home workouts.

Let’s crunch some 2022 numbers for popular home gym equipment:

  • Wholesale sales for exercise cycles hit a massive $916 million ─ that’s almost double the figures from 2019.
  • Sales of free weights reached over $504 million ─ more than double the revenue seen in 2019.
  • Elliptical machine sales soared to $839 million.

What does this tell us? Home fitness isn’t a trend; it’s a lifestyle shift driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s the catch: Americans are ready to invest in this shift.

An April 2022 survey revealed over 25% of the respondents were willing to spend up to $500 on a single home gym equipment and a small fraction (1.8%) showed their willingness to spend over $5000.

These numbers indicate strong consumer interest in various home fitness products.

So, whether you’re just launching your sporting goods business or thinking about diversifying your offerings, investing in cardio and strength training home equipment could be a lucrative move

2. Smart Fitness Equipment

The integration of technology into fitness equipment is a trend that’s likely to continue.

Consumers want more than just a workout; they appreciate the ability to track their heart rate, calories burned, distance covered, steps taken, and other fitness metrics.

Products incorporating these features, such as smart treadmills, stationary bikes with integrated screens, smartwatches, and GPS tracking devices are great to invest in.

Although the initial investment may be high due to the advanced technology involved, these smart products can bring significant returns due to their higher selling prices.

3. Functional Wearable Equipment

Beyond tech, functional wearable equipment like running pouches, ankle weights, sweatbands, and knee pads, are seeing a surge in demand in the US market.

They’re not only used by professional athletes but also by everyday fitness enthusiasts for added convenience and efficiency during workouts.

Best part: Compared to large fitness equipment, functional wearables come at a lower cost; plus they require less storage and display space.

So, by stocking these items, you can cater to the growing demand and manage your inventory efficiently.

4. Eco-Friendly Products

Today, consumers are prioritizing sustainability in their purchase decisions. They’re seeking out products made from recyclable and biodegradable materials.

This could include anything from high-quality yoga mats made from natural rubber to baseball gloves made from chrome-free leather, or sportswear made from organic cotton or recycled polyester.

By embracing this trend, you can appeal to eco-conscious customers and contribute to a green future in the sporting goods industry.

5. Athleisure

The athleisure trend has taken the fashion world by storm. As people are becoming more health conscious, they’re preferring clothes that could fit both their fitness routines and everyday style.

And the key to athleisure is versatility. Think of yoga pants that look equally good with a sports bra and a stylish tunic top.

This versatility makes athleisure items a profitable segment for wholesalers, distributors, and retailers.

At the forefront of this trend is Lululemon Athletica, a yoga and exercise apparel company that has redefined comfort and style.

And if you’re wondering about the market potential, the figures are compelling:

According to an Industry Research report, the global yoga pants market is on an upward trajectory, with its market size projected to grow from USD 13,576.86 million in 2022 to USD 17,736.45 million by 2028, reflecting a CAGR of 4.55%.

Additional Categories & Products to Explore

Here are some other categories & products to explore:

  • Exercise and gym equipment: Treadmills, bench press machines, leg press machines, stability balls, barbells, battle ropes, dumbbells, kettlebells, pilates rings, yoga mats, etc.
  • Indoor & outdoor sports equipment: Bats, balls, rackets, hockey sticks, basketball hoops, skates, polo mallets, fishing poles, skateboards, tennis tables, foosball tables, cue sticks, darts, etc.
  • Sports apparel & accessories: Jerseys, track pants sweatshirts, sports bras, yoga pants, running shoes, soccer cleats, basketball shoes, hiking boots, helmets, gloves, shin guards, elbow pads, water bottles, sports bags, swim caps, etc.

Strategies For Selling Bulk Sporting Goods Online

Once you have sourced your products, it is time to sell them online. But how?

One way is to create your own website. Think of it as your online store where you can showcase your products and tell your brand story.

You get to decide how everything looks — the logo, color scheme, layout, images, etc.

Another way is to join online marketplaces that already sell sporting goods in bulk.

This is like opening a shop in a busy mall. The marketplace already has a lot of customers, which means people will see your products and likely buy them too.