Where Do People Spend the Most on Sports Gear: Lululemon or Nike?

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Sporting goods are expensive. Camping gear, running shoes, yoga pants, golf clubs, the list of sports-related goods is practically endless, and shoppers can spend anywhere from a lot to a little to gear up for their favorite sports. Where do they spend the most?

A recent analysis by researchers at Perfect Price combed through billions of credit card transactions to find out how much shoppers actually spend on a visit to sporting goods stores owned by Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU), Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) and Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS). The researchers also looked at stores that don’t trade publicly like North Face, Patagonia, REI and LL Bean. General department stores like Wal-Mart and Target were not included, but direct sales to consumer on-line are.

The 10 sporting goods stores where shoppers spend the most per trip are:

  1. Lululemon: $100
  2. North Face: $96.06
  3. Foot Locker: $92.74
  4. REI: $90.38
  5. Nike: $80.99
  6. Gander Mountain: $78.54
  7. Patagonia: $76.11
  8. LL Bean: $70.68
  9. Bass Pro: $69.40
  10. Cabela’s: $67.10


Lululemon’s spot at the top is not a big surprise. After all, a pair of yoga pants costs about $100 and that’s probably what most shoppers go to the store for. North Face sells a variety of specialized (read, expensive) sportswear and gear for running, hiking and climbing. Foot Locker and Nike sell shoes (among other things, of course), and REI is sporting goods supermarket, with camping gear, golf clubs and just about anything else you can think of.

An interesting twist comes when Perfect Price took a look at which stores have the highest percentage of sales tickets for more than $200. The leader is REI, where 21.1% of sales tickets are greater than $200. In second place is Patagonia (18.1%) followed by Lululemon (17.6%), Cabela’s Inc. (NYSE: CAB) (17.5%) and Gander Mountain (17%).

Here’s a Perfect Price chart that compares the amount spent in several categories with the percentage of trips in each category for four retailers: Lululemon, Dick’s, REI and North Face.

REI shoppers consistently spend the most per trip, while Lululemon shopper spend more on a single trip. Sleeping bags, tents and camp stoves cost more than yoga pants, sports bras and running shoes. Premium technical gear like that from North Face and Patagonia, attracts fewer shoppers, but they spend more for the specialized equipment.

One last note: Lululemon reported that it had 229 U.S. stores at the end of January. Nike claimed a total of 303 U.S. stores, including Converse and Hurley brands, but excluding inline and employee-only stores. The bulk of Nike’s total sales are made through its massive distribution channel.