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Report: Virus Hits Sport and Fitness Equipment Makers

Andy Berg

Companies that manufacture sporting goods and fitness supplies took a major hit over the past two months due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fully 55 percent of respondents — sporting good manufacturers, fitness equipment manufacturers, retailers and sport and fitness technology companies — to a Sports & Fitness Industry Association survey reported sales decreases of 51 percent or greater in April when compared to April 2019.

SFIA members have taken various actions to mitigate the effects the virus has had on their businesses, including furloughing staff (45 percent), laying off staff (42 percent), reducing staff salary (44 percent) and reducing staff hours (40 percent).

The majority (81 percent) of respondents said they had seen disruptions to their supply chain, while 10 percent said they were experiencing significant delays in fulfilling orders, and 44 percent said they were experiencing moderate delays in fulfilling orders. 

Of those who responded to the survey, 46 percent said they had applied for a small business loan or other government related financial relief. 

With an eye toward better days ahead, 31 percent of companies said they believe organized youth sports will return to play in July or August, while 36 percent said youth sports would resume in the September/October timeframe. Fully 20 percent respondents believe youth sports won’t resume until 2021.

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