Dealers find bigger sales a natural as vendors expand bat bag market

Manufacturers found that size is a considerable factor in bat bag and other┬ásports┬ábag acceptability. They noted that consumers like bigger bags with more features and those with the ability to carry more load. Although bigger bags mean bigger price, manufacturers don’t consider it as a hindrance for they believe that buyers which spend more on their gears will not be hesitant to spend $80 or $90 for a bag.

Bigger is better – or so it seems when it comes to the team bag category. Manufacturers have found that size does in fact matter with bat bags and other sports bags, as consumers look for more features and the ability to carry more gear.

This shift has sent price points spiraling upward and added considerably to dealers’ and retailers’ bottom lines.

“Accessory items have been a growing market, especially the huge bags,” said Dale Whitman, president of El Cajon, CA-based Sportland. “People are stepping up from $20 bags to $60 bags.” He cited Louisville and Easton as brands which consumers are upgrading.

Bag makers are even chasing the image-conscious consumer, as evidenced by patent leather bat bags from Mizuno. But ultimately, vendors say the market has been driven by players looking to carry more of a load.

“Bigger bags have been the big trend,” said Mark Talarico, product manager at Easton Sports. The company recently introduced the Red Line bag to go with its new top bat offering. “The Red Line is going to be a premium bag,” Talarico said, adding that “People need more space to store everything, that’s the theory behind Red Line.”

That is also the theory behind Louisville Slugger’s Locker Bag, which the company said has taken off in the last few years. “It has compartments and can carry softball composite bats, cleats, gloves, protective equipment – almost anything, and it can handle up to 60 pounds,” said product manager Vicki Boisseau of the company’s bag that attaches to a fence, creating “a locker room anywhere.”

Bigger bags also carry a bigger price, with bags such as Louisville’s reaching a suggested retail price starting at $59.

“The price doesn’t have a bearing anymore,” says Boisseau.

“People are willing to spend on the bags,” added Talarico. “With bats passing $250 and $300, spending $80 or $90 for a bag is not a problem. It’s like a car – as you step up in price, the more options you expect.”