Oregon Labor Market Information System
Bookmark and Share
Oregon's Sporting Goods Stores
by Martin Kraal
Published Mar-8-2013

Rain or shine, Oregon offers an abundance of outdoor and sporting activities. Thus, it is no surprise that various sporting goods stores around the state cater to the needs of outdoor and sporting enthusiasts. As of the third quarter of 2012, there were 463 sporting goods establishments in the state. These stores supply bicycles and bicycle parts, canoes and kayaks, camping equipment, hunting and fishing gear, exercise and fitness equipment, and athletic footwear, among other items.

Employment Trends
Despite a slight decline in employment at the end of 2008 and into 2009, employment in sporting goods stores has steadily grown over the past decade (Graph 1). In 2011, sporting goods stores employed an annual average of 4,342 individuals, up from 4,012 in 2010.

Though several stores supply gear for winter activities, employment at sporting goods stores tends to peak during the summer months. In the third quarter of 2012, employment averaged 4,725 workers, which rose by 4 percent from the third quarter of 2011.

The total payroll for the industry was approximately $88.9 million in 2011. The average annual pay at sporting goods stores was $20,475, which was lower than the all-industry average of $43,077 and the overall retail industry average of $26,296.

Graph 1
Sporting goods stores employment 2001 to third quarter of 2012
Size and Location of Sporting Goods Stores
Sporting goods stores in Oregon vary from small, specialized shops to larger chain stores providing a variety of goods and services. The majority of stores (54%) have four or fewer employees (Table 1). Only 3 percent of the stores statewide had 50 or more employees in 2011. However, the larger stores employ a greater share of the total number of workers in the industry than the smaller stores. Similarly, the larger stores account for a greater share of the total industry wages.

The majority of sporting goods stores are located in the state's six metropolitan statistical areas. Three-quarters of the stores are in the metro areas, with the largest share of stores and employees located in the Portland metropolitan area.

Although the Portland metro area has the largest number of workers at sporting goods stores, Deschutes, Hood River, and Curry counties have higher concentrations of employment in the industry. In 2011, employment in each of these three counties was almost three times more concentrated than at the national level, and two times more concentrated than statewide employment.

At the statewide level, the concentration of employment in sporting goods stores is slightly higher than that nationwide. In 2011, sporting goods stores were approximately 42 percent more concentrated in Oregon than the nationwide average. Oregon also has a greater concentration of employment in the industry than all neighboring states except Idaho, which has slightly more than twice the concentration nationwide.

Table 1
Number of Firms by Size, 2011
Number of Employees Number of Firms  Percent of Total Employment
0 Employees 44 0.2%
1 to 4 Employees 212 10.2%
5 to 9 Employees 101 15.4%
10 to 19 Employees 71 23.2%
20 to 49 Employees 31 21.4%
50+ Employees 14 30.0%
Occupations in Sporting Goods Stores
Though an occupational breakout is not available for Oregon's sporting goods stores, it is available for the broader sporting goods, hobby, and musical instrument stores industry. In 2011 sporting goods stores comprised 44 percent of the employment in this broader industry.

It's no surprise that retail salesperson is one of the more common occupations found in sporting goods stores (Table 2). These individuals help customers find products that suit their needs and desires. Other occupations include cashiers, managers of retail sales workers, and stock clerk and order fillers. However, sporting goods stores also employ individuals with skills related to a specific sport or hobby, such as bicycle repairers.

Table 2
Top 10 Occupations in Sporting Goods, Hobby, and Musical Instrument Stores
Occupation 2010 Employment 2012 Median Hourly Wage
Retail Salespersons 4,472 $10.93
Cashiers 701 $10.01
Supervisors and Managers of Retail Sales Workers 697 $17.57
Bicycle Repairers 194 $12.57
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 163 $11.80
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 141 $17.09
General and Operations Managers 132 $41.71
Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks 121 $14.14
Office Clerks, General 121 $14.38
Customer Service Representatives 100 $14.72
Nationwide, employment in the sporting goods stores industry is projected to increase by 37.5 percent from 2010 to 2020. Though industry employment projections are not available for Oregon, it is likely that an improving Oregon economy will help support the industry as Oregonians and tourists take advantage of the outdoor and sporting activities throughout the state.