U.S. Fitness Product Sales Exceeded $5.2 Billion in 2017

The exercise and fitness products market pulled in $5.2 billion in U.S. sales in 2017, according to the “2018 Manufacturers’ Sales Report,” published by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), Silver Spring, Maryland.

Institutional exercise product sales are slightly up while consumer exercise product sales are slightly down, which meant the $5.2 billion in sales was almost flat compared to 2016, according to a media release from SFIA.

The report dissects the sports and fitness product market, based on the U.S. wholesale dollar sales data of sports equipment, exercise equipment, activewear apparel, sports apparel, licensed merchandise and footwear.

Sales in the overall sports and fitness industry grew 2.9 percent in 2017, which represents the best annual growth in three years. Sports equipment sales increased by 3.1 percent with basketballs, batting gloves, baseball protective gear and camping coolers registering “healthy” category growth. The overall sports equipment category measured $24.9 billion in sales.

“The sports and fitness products industry is resilient,” Tom Cove, president and CEO of SFIA, said in the release. “Though we have faced profound changes in retail landscape and consumer behavior, the industry continues to innovate and deliver products that Americans want in order to maintain their desired active lifestyle.”

The fitness apparel category experienced strong gains at 12.3 percent, while the accessories sector of branded athletic apparel experienced “notable growth” that neared 5 percent in some categories.

Also, after an unpredictable few years in the footwear industry, where the classic/original brand styles have been increasing at a faster rate than any other category, fitness/workout footwear is now outpacing the classic/original styles. Although both categories are showing steady, healthy gains, sales of fitness/workout footwear have increased by 5.3 percent, while classic/originals have increased by 3.5 percent. The running shoe category continues to dominate the shoe market, grossing nearly double the amount of any other footwear category, and maintains consistent growth at 2.1 percent.

The full 2018 Manufacturers’ Sales Report is free to all SFIA members and can be accessed here.