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New NSGA Report Reveals Gen Z Sporting Goods Shoppers Prefer to Shop In-Store

Business • March 1, 2022

By Nick Rigitano

NSGA Director of Insights and Analysis

DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS (March 1, 2022) – More than three-quarters of Gen Z sporting goods shoppers prefer to purchase sporting goods products in-store rather than online, according to the latest shopper study by the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), the Gen Z Shopper Playbook: Insights into the Sporting Goods Shopper

But how does this compare to the average sporting goods shopper?

A positive story for retailers with physical stores is most sporting goods shoppers still prefer to purchase products in-store rather than online. Study results indicate 60 percent of sporting goods shoppers prefer to purchase in-store. This figure is slightly higher among purchasers of footwear (66%). It is important to note, however, the percentage of shoppers preferring to purchase sporting goods online has increased to 21 percent, up from 12 percent in 2015.

Among Gen Z shoppers, 77 percent prefer to purchase sporting goods in-store, a rate significantly higher than the All Shoppers group. In fact, this significantly higher preference for in-store purchasing carries through to each of the three major sporting goods categories – equipment (76%), footwear (79%) and apparel (80%).

Retailers with physical stores should be pleased that shopping physical stores is still a favorite play call, especially among Gen Z shoppers. Despite some naysayers out there, physical stores are not headed toward extinction. However, we do not want to imply that retailers with physical stores have nothing to worry about. With online activity continuing to increase each year, the challenges will only become greater. Retailers with physical stores must focus on the basic reasons shoppers choose physical stores over online outlets, as well as search for ways to counteract the strengths of online shopping.

For insights into how retailers and brands can appeal to this generation of sporting goods shoppers as well as additional insights contained in the report, check out how to obtain access to the report by clicking here.

NOTE: Because this study was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, some findings related to shopping behaviors could have potentially changed since the study was executed. NSGA is considering a follow-up study to determine the extent of any changes. We wanted to publish this report after receiving positive feedback from those in the sporting goods industry, in addition to our belief that valuable learnings can still be gleaned from the report.