I recently started working for a new company that sells Softball and Baseball Equipment. I share an office with the owner of TAI Sports, Carlos Vega. As I worked my first week, I was blown away by how much people would spend on equipment. Never really being exposed to this business, it came as a shock to me to find out bats were now made out of carbon fiber and other materials that are commonly used in bicycles. Heck, they even have titanium bats.
During my first few days on the job, I saw many walks of life walk into our office/warehouse/store front. Both blue and white collar kind of people as well as kids would come in and buy their bats, mitts, turfs(shoes), jerseys, and anything else you can think of that’s related to softball/baseball.
So I asked Carlos, my boss, why are there so many people coming in on a daily basis that buy new gear? He explained to me that hobbies/sports are like drugs. People will find ways to afford a brand new $400 composite bat.
This whole world of softball/baseball is so new to me, heck I didn’t even know it existed! But what’s funny is, there is a huge similarity to the bicycle industry and sport. When I worked at an LBS, we had people coming in buying $2-4K bikes…on a daily basis…
So I’m wondering if the bicycle retailer is somewhat safe from the slowing economy? I would also think that with gas prices, the sale of commuter and road bikes are giving the shops a sales spike. But then again, the only business that I know of that is impervious or recession proof is the medical field.