“Scuba Diving is a Normal Recreation”
We are hearing a lot of chatter from Dive Manufacturers and Retail Dive Centers that business is down significantly from past years. Is it the economy? Is it the market? Or is it that we have not adapted to the changes in customer behavior? I spoke with a friend of mine, Dave Pollock, who was the General Manager of Mares in the mid 1990’s. Dave had a unique industry perspective because Mares is owned by Head Sports and they specialize in many different types of recreational products and markets. I listened to Dave as he talked about the popularity and life cycles of other recreational sports, like running, tennis, golf and snow skiing. All of these sports have had hugh swings in popularity through out the years and the sporting goods industry had to deal with some challenging times. Scuba diving is no different. We need to understand and deal with economic factors like a flat economy, high unemployment and under-employment, a declining population, an ageing baby boomer market, more recreational options available to the young consumer and an entire change in consumer behavior.
We first have to admit that scuba diving is a normal recreational just like other sports and that changes in consumer demographics, geographics, psychographics and genagraphics will change the way we need to do business in the future. If we can identify the problems, we can formulate a plan on how we are going to deal with the problems. Success is within our reach and capabilities.