The sports apparel business has become one of the more competitive retail industries over the past 20 years. This can be attributed to many factors. Some say it is the growing interest in the games by the younger generation. Other are convinced that it is the “Cool Factor” to be associated with a particular team. Here is my take on the top five reasons.
Reason one…ESPN has given us complete and total access to each and every sport. Professional and collegiate alike, ESPN is wall to wall sports and has been for the past couple decades. Personalities such as Chris Berman and Dan Patrick have made it fun to simply watch highlights, Sportscenter. Who would have ever thought 30 years ago that what was once a 3-4 minute segment of the news, now would have a channel devoted to sports and that channel would run thirty, sixty, and one hundred twenty minute sports highlight shows,
Reason two…The National Football League (NFL) has grown to iconic levels in this country. The Super Bowl is the single most viewed annual event on American television. Supporting your favorite teams and showing your colors is far more popular than ever. Millions of people have Super Bowl parties wearing their favorite teams’ apparel. Whether you are a fan or not, it’s what you wear at these parties.
Reason three…It is a fun business for an entrepreneur to be involved. Sports businesses in general are fun to own and operate. Because of the allure to be associated in some manner in sports, owning a sports apparel store make the owner feel a bit closer to the game. The stores are generally bright and lively and the mood in the stores is typically upbeat.
Reason four…The Cool Factor! Countless millions of sports fans buy team apparel to be part of the crowd they run with. From oversized baseball jerseys to team hats made out of any assortment of colors, it is sheik to be seen in the trendy sports apparel. You can get a Cincinnati Reds hat in as many as five different colors. The people that buy these hats do not care so much about the team. It’s a fashion statement they are making.
Reason five…The almighty dollar! Although there is extreme competition in this industry, it is all about the money for many store owners. The margins in this industry are large. The guesswork on teams is not very difficult. Stocking the right products is relatively simple. The sports apparel industry is so competitive because so many owners are making money. Until the gravy train decides to slow down, don’t look for many owners to get off the train.
More and more sports apparel franchises are bound to open up at your local mall. It is not a fad, sports apparel is here to stay. It’s a fun business and always seems to have something newsworthy to talk about.
For the store owners, sit back and enjoy the ride. And for the rest of you wanting to get into the industry, find a good location and join the fun.