Putting politics and global warming aside you have to say 2019 was a good year for the U.S. anyway. The economy grew at a healthy 2-3% rate, personal income (i.e. wages) is growing somewhere between 3-4% and U.S. unemployment rates fell to a 50 year-low while S&P 500 stocks exploded with a 28.5% increase in share prices.


So now let’s look closer to home at retail sales in Q4 2019. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse™ online sales during the holiday grew at a whopping 18.8% while in-store sales grew at 1.2%. Digital sales now represent a record high of 14.6% of total retail sales. Retail store closings, according to Coresight™, shuttered some 9,300 locations in ’19 vs. 5,844 in ’18 and 8,069 in ’17. We expect this trend to continue.


Coming down another notch to the outdoor, bike and ski markets we are in single-digit growth mode. VF Corp (Vans, North Face) and Nike are on fire with healthy global growth. Bike brands Dorel, Giant, Shimano all showed low to middle single-digit growth. The ski industry also is growing at single-digits but is highly weather dependent so it is too early to know what 2020 will bring. The outlier is Canyon bikes which showed 46% growth in the U.S. in 2019, all DTC driven.

Where does this leave us for the future? We believe you must invest in your Direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing capabilities which supports high margin growth in your own website sales and if managed properly should benefit your brick-n-mortar channel as well.

We wish you health, happiness and an exercise inspired 2020!


Scott Montgomery

CrankTank CEO & Founder