When people think about sports equipment, they often think of the high street shops, such as J.D Sports or JJB, but these shops are losing their advantage over online shops and losing it fast. A key example of this lies within the variety of stock; we know that the high street shops are more inclined to prioritise the sale of leisure clothes above sports equipment and what little equipment they have rarely extends beyond football, and even then its mostly balls, gloves and nothing else. Sure, you can buy the occasional rugby ball or basketball jersey, but beyond that I feel that these types of shops are letting us, as consumers, down.

Online retailers are beginning to take advantage of their lack of stock by being able to order to meet consumers needs be they from high popularity sports like football or snooker, to lesser played sports like croquet. Equipment can now be bought for sports that require a lot of space, like contact sports, and how pray tell, will the high streets keep up with that? Even niche hobbies can be catered for nowadays, with archery equipment being readily available on a number of retailers’ websites.

Let’s not forget that the online shops also obtain their stock for less due to a lack of distribution costs, and often you’ll find this advantage being pressed indicated by the low prices of the products. With that in mind, surely it can’t be too long before the main retailers decline and disappear.

Another problem I have noticed with these high street sports retailers is their lack of kits for sports teams. Many a time I’ve had to search online for any football shirt that wasn’t decorated with a logo of the top four teams in football, so say you were a fan of Tottenham Hotspurs living outside of London you have next to no chance of finding one. A similar problem to this is the lack of local teams’ kits. Of the many sports shops in Accrington, for example, there are no shirts for their local team Accrington Stanley, not a major problem I know, but it’s these little niches that may well contribute to the decline of the high street sports shops and will certainly lead to the increase of prosperous online retailers.

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