Black Friday customer growth at Sportsman’s Warehouse outpaced sporting goods competitors in 2021

As the holiday season approaches, retailers are gearing up for major sales events like Black Friday. Among these are sporting goods retailers, which reportedly saw an increase in demand for camping and outdoor gear during pandemic lockdowns. So how did these companies fare during Black Friday week over the last few years? Our peer analysis of major sporting goods retailers—Academy Sports & Outdoors (NASDAQ: ASO), Big 5 Sporting Goods (NASDAQ: BGFV), Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS), REI, and Sportsman’s Warehouse (NASDAQ: SPWH)—found that Sportsman’s Warehouse saw the most customer growth during Black Friday week in 2021. Transaction data also correctly projected that Sportsman’s Warehouse would experience decreased revenue year-over-year in the 2021 holiday fiscal quarter.

Among sporting goods retailers, Sportsman’s Warehouse (NASDAQ: SPWH) saw the most year-over-year customer growth during Black Friday week in 2021

Consumer transaction data shows that in 2021, several sporting goods retailers saw increases in customer counts during Black Friday week, both on a year-over-year basis and compared to before the pandemic. Customer counts at Sportsman’s Warehouse hiked 15 percent year-over-year during Black Friday week in 2021, the most in our peer analysis. Between Black Friday week in 2020 and 2021, customer counts also climbed 4 percent at Academy Sports and Outdoors and 2 percent at REI. 

 Black Friday customer growth for Sporting Goods competitors - NYSE DKS, NASDAQ SPWH, NASDAQ ASO, NASDAQ BGFV, and REI

Black Friday week customer counts at these three sporting goods competitors also exceeded pre-COVID levels. Compared to Black Friday week in 2019, customer counts during Black Friday week in 2021 increased 36 percent at Sportsman’s Warehouse, 19 percent at REI, and 6 percent at Academy Sports and Outdoors. 

On the other hand, Black Friday week customer counts at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Big 5 Sporting Goods were below pre-pandemic levels in 2020 and 2021. At Dick’s Sporting Goods, customer counts during Black Friday week in 2021 were down 16 percent year-over-year and 31 percent when compared to Black Friday week in 2019. At Big 5 Sporting Goods, Black Friday week customer counts in 2021 were 7 percent lower than Black Friday week in 2020 and 28 percent lower than Black Friday week in 2019. 

Notably, Dick’s Sporting Goods’ stores were open on Thanksgiving Day in 2019, but closed on Thanksgiving Day in 2020 and 2021. This may partially account for the decline in customer counts between Black Friday week in 2019 and Black Friday week in 2020. The other retailers were closed on Thanksgiving Day for all three years. REI has also closed its retail stores on Black Friday since 2015.

Bloomberg Second Measure’s revenue projections for Sportsman’s Warehouse indicated a revenue decrease year-over-year in FY21 Q4 

On March 29, 2022, Sportsman’s Warehouse announced that its reported revenue for the fiscal quarter ending on January 29, 2022 (FY21 Q4) was $416.3 million, a 5 percent decrease year-over-year. 

Sportsman's Warehouse revenue in holiday fiscal quarter 2021

Our transaction data-based scaled revenue projection indicated a year-over-year decrease in FY21 Q4, while the change in the mean consensus estimate between FY21 Q4 and FY20 Q4 showed an increase. Our transaction data-based scaled revenue projection during FY21 Q4 also came within 1 percent of reported revenue, beating consensus.

Download our new whitepaper to see how investors can use transaction data for an early read on retailers’ Black Friday performance>>>

Looking ahead to Black Friday in 2022 

Going into this holiday season, retailers are still contending with factors such as high inflation. At some big-box retailers and ecommerce companies, sales are also launching much earlier than Black Friday. In fact, Walmart, Target, and Amazon have already launched major sale events in early October.

Some retailers, including sporting goods companies, will be introducing new products and partnerships ahead of the holidays. For example, Peloton recently partnered with Dick’s Sporting Goods to sell bikes and treadmills, marking the exercise company’s first foray into partnerships with brick-and-mortar retailers.

Bloomberg Second Measure launched a new and exclusive transaction dataset in July 2022. Our data continues to be broadly representative of U.S. consumers. As a result of this panel change, however, we recommend using only the latest post in assessing metrics, and do not support referring to historical blog posts to infer period-over-period comparisons.

Looking for more consumer spending insights during seasonal events like Black Friday?