The online retail Fitness & Sports market is expected to accelerate in 2018, buoyed by the relative strength of a robust billion dollar industry after a challenging year. Sears Marketplace sellers, in particular, are poised benefit from select categories that have traditionally performed well on Sears.com Overall, Fitness & Exercise saw a minimal decline in revenue while several sub-categories enjoyed annualized increases led by Home Gyms & Stations and Exercise Cycles. Continuing a strong overperformance from 2016, Wheeled Sports saw double-digit growth this year, particularly Electric Scooters and Foot Power Scooters brands like Hoverboard and Self Balance. This subcategory stands to offer strong growth potential through holiday 2017.
Another area of expected growth is Family Recreation, led by Game Tables, Hot Tubs & Spas, and Saunas as we head into the fall and winter season. This category generally contributes up to 15% or more of total revenue in the Fitness vertical. Sellers offering Pool Tables, Table Tennis, and Hot Tubs stand to gain market share with competitive, entry and mid-level SKUs combined with strikethrough sale pricing and Free Shipping on brands like Home & Garden, Kettler, Joola, Butterfly, and Intex. As the summer winds down, members historically continue to shop deals in Outdoor Activities. This category should be extremely lucrative for sellers offering varied assortment and competitive pricing for campers, hikers and hunters alike; this includes both white label and high name recognition brands like Coleman, Wenzel, Airsoft and Stansport for Tents, Hunting Accessories, and Camping Chairs & Tables.
Winter Sports highlights another considerable opportunity available to sellers in the Fitness vertical through Q4 as the temperatures drop. Heightened interest in snowboarding, skiing, and ice hockey make this the sleeper category to watch through the holidays into the New Year.