Outdoor Retail Trends

| June 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

I was in the big box Academy Sports in Denton, Texas, yesterday, and besides all the unprotected faces of all ages, there were row after row of store shelves sitting half-empty or half-full depending on your perspective. I was curious, as we should all be, and asked a woman doing frantic stocking, “Why do you have so many empty shelves?” 

I fully expected to hear some complex answer about China supply chain, and had even thought; she’ll say that the supply chain was broken a few months ago, and now we are feeling that lag in the system … or some such economically wonky answer.

What I heard was, in a word, shocking. “People are buying everything. We can’t keep the shelves full,” she said in a half-beaten voice. Maybe it was the mask that dialed her down to sounding half-beaten, but whatever it was, I put this piece with a puzzle that is forming a picture.

Quite honestly, this brief encounter dovetails perfectly with a recent article in the Lone Star Outdoor News, a visit to a Sanger boat motor repair shop – Lake Park Marine Service. At Lake Park Marine on I35 North of Sanger, the line is long for service, “We’re the fastest service going right now,” with a $100-dollar one hour minimum, and at least a week’s wait before hands get on your power plant. They too, are busier than ever. The LSO News article echoes, boat sales as well as outdoor RV sales are though the roof. There are lines at all the brick-and-mortar store’s counters, and people are more than willing to let go of pent-up dollars to pursue the safe outdoors.

And my last reality check was with the DFW factory authorized designer-installer of SeaDek, based in Denton, Texas. Top Dek Manufacturing does CAD design and their own factory authorized cutting and installation of SeaDek for the North Texas Region. An extremely brief text exchange let me know Top Dek is not looking to keep busy – they already are.

Well I am sure the slower of us are just tickled pink that those already in the outdoor recreation business are busier than ever, aren’t we? If you want to get busy, be sure to click on my ads for “RAFFLE TICKETS” here on the website. I have a few tickets left for the Fly Line Mat and even fewer for the Guided Carp Trip Outing also still open to purchase.

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Category: Fly Shops, Industry, OFF TOPIC, Store Merchandise

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

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