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Why Costco Stopped Making Tennis Balls?

Why Costco Stopped Making Tennis Balls

With tennis being one of the biggest sports on the planet, fans freeze their eyes and themselves to their screens during the Grand Slams and ATP Tours. It is obvious that a question as exclamatory as ‘Why Costco stopped making tennis balls’ would haunt millions. Now, why exactly would it be a haunting feature, or why would Costco be the reason for it, will be discussed in detail in the article. So hold on to your boots for one of the scariest events of the pandemic.

However, before we go into that, let’s just talk about what tennis balls exactly are. A little brainer isn’t that bad after all. Tennis balls are small, bouncy balls that are used in the sport of tennis. They are typically made from rubber, covered in a felt material, and filled with pressurized gas. The felt covering helps the ball grip the court surface, allowing players to create spin and control the ball’s direction. Tennis balls come in different types, such as regular duty or extra duty. This indicates the felt’s thickness and the type of court it is designed to be used on.

Why Costco?

Costco is a membership-based warehouse club that offers a wide range of merchandise, including groceries, appliances, electronics, clothing, and more, at discounted prices. The company is known for its high-quality products, generous return policy, and commitment to ethical business practices. With its large and loyal customer base, Costco has become one of the world’s largest and most successful retailers. Now, why exactly are Costco tennis balls so famous? Costco’s tennis balls are known for their quality and affordability, making them a favorite among tennis players of all levels. Made with a very high-quality rubber core and premium felt, they are designed for optimal performance on hard court surfaces.

Costco has its own brand of tennis balls as well, the Kirkland Signature tennis balls, which, again, are known for their durability and playability and are often compared to the more expensive ones like Wilson (as mentioned) and Penn tennis balls. However, this still leaves us with the question: Why has Costco stopped making tennis Balls? Also Read: Why Are Tennis Balls Used On Walkers?

What Was The Tennis ball Shortage?

During the covid 19 pandemic, the US closed its borders with all its neighboring countries for non-essential travel. With it came various restrictions like social distancing, staying at home, etc. This, however, did not deter many from watching television, especially tennis.  Reports suggest that there was a massive surge instead in the sport. This rise in tennis players obviously increased sales and demand for tennis balls as well. The pandemic, along with the restrictions, and shortage of manufacturers resulted in a shortage of tennis balls. On a whole, the following can be summed up as the reasons:

  1. Supply chain issues. Covid 19 restricted the manufacturing processes of various South East Asian manufacturers. These are the suppliers of almost all tennis balls for Costco. The limits in their respective countries led to an almost complete halt in the manufacturing process leading to no supply to the US.
  2. Port Delays. Shipping containers with balls already manufactured were not dispatched on time, and those had to be put on hold. Moreover, the widespread fear of allowing anything manufactured in the ‘east’ led to an overall decrease and delay in the dispatch of these goods.
  3. Tariff wars. prior to the pandemic, US President Donald Trump proposed an additional 25% tariff on Chinese goods, including tennis balls. The overall increase in taxes led to a tariff war between China and the US, leaving an uneasy and uncertain situation with no real sale and supply of tennis balls. Also Read: 5 Best Knee Braces For Tennis Player

What happens now?

Well, obviously tennis balls are back in Costco now, due to the pandemic staying on a down low, and the manufacturing process returning to normal. Further, the ports are back to normal and functioning as per usual(pre-pandemic), leading to the stocks being full again and the avid tennis players not going into shock over the nonavailability of tennis balls.  Also Read: What is a Kick serve in Tennis? How to hit a Kick serve?

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