SIC 5941 Sporting Goods Stores and Bicycle Shops


SIC 5941

This category consists of establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of sporting goods, sporting equipment, and bicycles, bicycle parts, and accessories. Retail establishments primarily engaged in selling motorized bicycles are classified in SIC 5571: Motorcycle Dealers. Those engaged in the retail sale of athletic footwear are classified in SIC 5661: Shoe Stores. Establishments primarily engaged in repairing bicycles are classified in SIC 7699: Repair Shops and Related Services, Not Elsewhere Classified, while those renting bicycles are classified in SIC 7999: Amusement and Recreation Services, Not Elsewhere Classified.

For information on the industry that produces durable goods for athletic competition, exercise, and recreation, see SIC 3949: Sporting Goods Equipment.



Sporting Goods Stores


One of the most striking features characterizing this industry in the late 1990s and early 2000s was the consumer shift from smaller, local sporting goods stores to so-called "big-box" retailers, or sporting-goods superstores bringing together an exceptionally wide product line under one roof. Combined with the explosive growth in e-commerce sales of sporting and recreational goods, this development gave the industry a complete facelift.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported sales in this industry of $27.99 billion in 2002, continuing a trend of modest growth since the mid-1990s. There were approximately 57,100 retail sporting-goods and bicycle shops in the United States, with the vast majority of them employing fewer than 10 people. The industry as a whole employed some 270,400 workers in 2002.

By 2005 there were an estimated 51,709 retail sporting-goods and bicycle shops in the United States that boasted revenues of $28.6 billion. Of that total, bicycle shops posted revenues of $6 billion. The total number of people employed within the industry fell to 241,804, most likely from consolidation within the bicycle industry.


The types of firms listed in this classification include department and discount stores, franchise chains, specialty shops (bicycles and athletic equipment), mail-order businesses, and e-commerce businesses.

Bicycles are sold in department stores; specialty bike shops; and discount, variety, and hardware stores. The typical American bicycle shop served a customer base of approximately 9,000 people. Approximately 40 percent of the bicycle shops in the nation were single proprietorships and were primarily "home-owned" facilities. A small percentage of bike shops were business partnerships. Only 25 percent of U.S. bike shops were as large as corporations, in terms of average sales, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Bicycle shops stocked four major classifications of bicycles: single-speed cruiser bicycles (the average price was $100 to $250); contemporary utility bicycles ($100 to $300); lightweight 10- to 18-speed bicycles (from $300 to more than $2,000); and specialty bicycles, such as mountain bikes, sports models, touring bicycles, folding bicycles, and all-terrain bicycles ($300 to $3,000).


Through the 1970s, the sporting goods industry was dominated by hunting and fishing equipment, and hardware stores competed with sporting goods outlets for business. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, however, several factors began to transform the industry. The nation as a whole grew increasingly health- and fitness conscious, sparking a boom in sales of exercise gear and apparel. In addition, the booming participation of women in sports of all kinds opened up whole new markets that only barely existed before. And expanding variety and specialization in equipment for all sports necessitated space for the vast selections now pushed by manufacturers. While adults between the ages of 25 and 44 constituted the mainstay of purchasers, industry leaders recognized a need to focus their marketing strategies on the inclusion of both younger and older consumer groups. Combined, these factors vastly transformed the industry's base toward large retail outlets featuring several departments catering to different sports and activities.

As the fitness industry sparked consumer appeal for...

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