High demand for sporting goods since COVID began but supplies running low

Jeff and Kathy Bristol of Goody Sporting Goods. (PNC photo)

Although the pandemic has devastated the economy, some businesses are still hanging on.

One small business’s story shows the unexpected ways COVID-19 has challenged even the most resilient business owners.

With so many business and social activities still limited, if not outright prohibited, most economic activity still remains at a crawl.

But with so many people stuck at home, some items and services have had an unexpected spike in popularity.

One example of this is home exercise equipment.

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Along with a similar demand for baking supplies, or perhaps because of that, demand for exercise equipment has been through the roof since the pandemic began.

With that being the case, you’d think sporting goods stores would be thriving.

And they were … for a little bit.

But Jeff and Kathy Bristol of Goody Sporting Goods says nowadays that isn’t exactly the case.

“The only problem is that when COVID started, a lot of the factories shut down so we have supply issues. A lot of the items that we sold out of and we could’ve sold more of…we’ve never been able to replenish because there’s a worldwide shortage just because demand for like..exercise bikes or whatever..it’s so big that..combined with the shutdown of the factories..and then even restarting the demand..worldwide is so big that we’re just having a hard time getting our hands on products that we need,” Jeff Bristol said.

Kathy Bristol, vice-president of Goody Sporting Goods, said: “It’s not just us on Guam..it’s nationwide. So people are disappointed because they’ll try to find it online and you can’t even find it online.”

Aside from now hard-to-find home exercise equipment such as kettlebells, dumbbells and exercise bikes, the Bristols say other items have become unexpectedly popular.

They say they can barely keep skateboards on the shelves and dartboards are fast movers as well.

Also, people who’ve typically focused on team sports seem to be switching over to individual sports to stay active until team sports are authorized again.

Unfortunately, the nationwide supply issues plaguing the home fitness industry continue to strangle what could’ve been a windfall.

Jeff Bristol says the spike in demand hasn’t been able to completely make up for their losses in other areas.

Now that the COVID vaccines are on island, the Bristols say they look forward to things hopefully getting back to normal

Jeff Bristol, president, Goody Sporting Goods, said: “I mean..it’s hard to predict the future. But in our business, we kind of have to do our orders like six months ahead of time. So right now we’re thinking..hopefully..by August that things will go back to normal. We’re already gearing up for back to school…cautiously..but it’s kind of a gamble. We don’t really know.”