Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
May 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 44, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

Dwindling Dive Stores

from the May, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

As most divers know, the number of full-service dive stores in the U.S. gets smaller each year. The internet businesses have had an impact on them, as they have on all retail stores

Infrequent divers are buying less equipment, preferring to rent it on tropical vacations. Many foreign dive resorts, which once only offered free-flowing regulators and threadbare BCs, have recognized the value of renting well-maintained gear, which has changed divers' attitudes toward buying gear. And besides, who likes to tote heavy gear through airports?

Finally, fewer people, at least in the U.S., are getting certified, reducing the number of dive store customers.

That said, the drop in the number of full-service dive stores -- defined as those with a retail storefront, an onsite compressor, and full line of equipment, sales, and training -- is not as disturbing as one might believe.

Mark Young, the editor of the magazine Dive Center Business, told Undercurrent that at the end of 2017, there were 1,307 full-service dive stores, 399 fewer than in 1999.

The net loss between 2013 and 2017 was 183, which includes the 2016 loss of 55 Sport Chalet stores that sold scuba.

In 2017, 56 closed, but 33 new stores opened, for a net loss of 23. That's the lowest number of closures in nearly 20 years.

-- Ben Davison

I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2024 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.