SIA News 7.1
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
SIA is excited to welcome our new members who recently joined us and attended the 2012 SIA Snow Show. Each year the revenue from the Snow Show goes directly back into the industry to help fund consumer initiatives, research, government affairs and SIA programs. As a member-owned trade association, we could not grow the industry or provide invaluable services and benefits to our members without your help through annual membership and your support.
“Since its inception, SnowSports Industries America and the SIA Snow Show has been the launching pad for many action sports innovations. Their members serve a large and diverse early-adopter market that is always on the hunt for the next big thing. We think our interactive video technology is the next 'big thing', and the response we received by the exhibitors, attendees and media at the Show was very exciting." Mike Wagle, CLVR CEO.
If you have any questions or need assistance please contact Pat Grenke, in the membership department P. 703.506.4222 or E. PGrenke@snowsports.org.
Thank you for your support of the industry through your membership with SIA; we look forward to a long and rewarding association with your company.
New Members as of January 1, 2012:
DESPITE LACK OF SNOW, SALES REMAINED ABOVE 4-SEASON AVERAGE
This year, for the first time ever, SIA Research released the SIA Mid-Season Intelligence Report. This report contains four-year, mid-season trends comparison of the alpine, snowboard, cross country, accessories, and apparel categories. The Mid-Season Intelligence Report is available free to all members.. Non-members may purchase the report for $425 directly from the snowsports.org.
On January 26th, SIA reported that December sales were down 2% in dollars, to $2.2B, but down 10% in units sold due to sparse snowfall. These are the most recent numbers from SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and The Leisure Trends Group collected from the Point of Sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers. According to the report, December’s lack of snow had significant impacts on the snow sports market as snowed failed to fall in key regions across the country. Snow cover across the contiguous 48 states fell from 48% in December 2010 to 23% in December 2011. Although the snow sports market suffered in December, sales remained above the four-season average and a mid-January change in the storm track may help the market recover across the entire 2011/2012 season.
Source: SIA RetailTRAK™ produced by the Leisure Trends Group
Snow Sports consumers obviously were affected by the lack of snow in December but demonstrated hope that winter was late to start rather than absent. Sales through December reached $2.2 billion, 2% below last season’s record sales but above August – December Sales in the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 seasons. Sales between August and December were down 10% overall in units with pronounced decreases in accessories that consumers tend to buy on their way to the mountains including goggles, wax, and gloves.
Equipment and apparel sales normally purchased with the slopes and trails in mind, but before the trek to the mountains begins, fared better with increased sales in major categories including alpine and AT/Randonee equipment and insulated tops. Specialty shop inventories were up 16% overall clearly showing the lag in sales. Additionally, specialty shops’ sell-through was down 10% overall through December as consumers waited for more snow to fall.
Alpine Ski Trends
- All alpine equipment sales up 2% in $ and down 1% in units.
- Reverse and mixed camber ski sales are up an astounding 75% in units sold to 87,000 pairs sold making up 23% of all alpine skis sold through December this season.
- Adult twin tip sales are up 17% in units and 21% in $ in a down market.
- Carryover sales are down 41% in units as specialty retailers started the 2011/2012 season with cleaner inventories and higher % of in-season product.
- Alpine Equipment Inventories are up 20% in units compared to Dec 31, 2010.
- Snowboard equipment sales down 10% in units and 5% in $ sold through December.
- Carryover snowboard equipment sales are down 30% in boards and boots units and down 40% in bindings.
- Inventories are up 30% compared to December 31, 2010.
- Most boards sold in 2011/2012 will be rocker boards – 72% of boards sold through Dec have reverse camber (rocker).
- Female participation in snowboard is up 25%.
- Snowboard core (core: participants that snowboard nine or more times per season) at 2.8M is larger than the alpine ski core 2.7M.
Cross Country Ski Trends
- Cross country equipment sales are suffering without snowfall – down 22% in units and down 17% in $ sold.
- 64% of all XC equipment is sold in specialty shops, 19% in chain stores and 17% of sales are made online.
- Cross country participants are some of the most active people. Retailers and suppliers may be able to find them walking, on a road bike, running, or hiking when they are not skiing trails – good opportunities for cross marketing.
- Cross country skiing may be the perfect landing spot for baby boomers who are retiring from downhill skiing or just looking for low impact activity to keep them outdoors and active in winter.
- Cross country skiers have some of the highest education and income levels of any sport.
- Early season up, December tanked due to lack of snowfall and warmer than average temperatures. All accessories sales are down 7% in $ sold and 13.5% in units sold through December.
- Participants purchase larger ticket items differently than they purchase accessories like hats, gloves and goggles. Accessories typically are purchased closer to actual time of use making sales more reactive to weather.
- Inventories up 14% and sell-through down 12%.
- Many participants are very active in other sports like bicycle riding, running, hiking, and paddle – defines an opportunity to make accessories that crossover to other activities with the participants.
- Backcountry accessories like beacons, probes, shovels, and personal airbags are popular online purchases. In fact 60% of all backcountry accessories units and 68% of $ are sold online in the snow sports marketplace.
- Lack of snow and cold strongly impacted apparel sales – down 1% in units and up 1% in $ sold.
- One high point is that insulated parka sales are up 4% in units sold as non-participants head to chain stores and online to buy snow sports apparel as casual wear. Internet sales of insulated parkas are up 18% in units and 14% dollars sold through December.
- Inventory levels are up 22%.
- Margins – Down but not out – from 50.4% in Dec 2010 to 49.7% average in Dec 2011.
- Regional – 2% growth in the South.
Snow was a scarce commodity in December 2011. Snow sports sales suffered specifically in response to the lack of snow in December. In fact, most variance in snow sports sales can be directly attributed to weather. In December this season, snow sports participants were very dependent on manufactured snow that has kept the market moving despite the snow drought that lasted until mid-January.
In fact, snow cover was down more than 50% from levels in December 2010. However, hope remains for better conditions this season; as of January 24, 41% of the country was snow covered, and snow is now falling in key regions across the country.
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Snow Analysis
The market data presented in this report comes from the Snow Sports RetailTRAK™ produced for SIA by the Leisure Trends Group. The Leisure Trends Group gathers RetailTRAK™ data directly from the Point of Sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers. For more information about snow sports retail sales information and other SIA Research products including the Snow Sports Market Intelligence Report that includes the Women’s, Youth and Mid-Season reports, Snow Sports Participation Study, Revisiting Growing the Snow Sports Industry, the Snow Sports Uniform Purchasing Study, the Snow Sports Rental Equipment Survey and much more, please contact Kelly Davis, SIA’s Director of Research at KDavis@snowsports.org.
Topline/category retail sales data for the snow sports market is available as a member benefit to all SIA members. In addition, you gain free access to topline data for the Running, Outdoor, and Paddle Sports when you register. The topline data is accessible on a 24/7/365 basis on the Leisure Trends Cross-Industry RetailTRAK™ data portal. Non-SIA members may subscribe to the topline portal for just $375 per year. To sign up for topline data click HERE.
SIA SNOW SPORTS DIRECTORY NOW AVAILABLE IN 3 VERSIONS
The 2012 SIA Snow Sports Directory is now accessible in three different formats, making the industry always readily available at your fingertips. The Directory has been produced annually for over 50 years and is the most widely used industry resource for retailers, media, suppliers, resorts and industry groups. This resourceful book is the only place where you can access the most important industry contacts, brand listings and personnel.
There are three ways to use the Directory:
The Online Directory is a live link to the member database and is always up to date with current contact listings. Click here to view the SIA Online Directory.
Download the interactive PDF version for easy access to the industry 24/7. Search within the PDF and save directly to your desktop for endless contacts. The PDF also includes the Addendum; a list of changes and editions made to the directory, through January 29, 2012.
The hard copy version of the PDF is broken down into sections based on brands, products and personnel making researching and cross-referencing a breeze. Forgot to pick up a SIA Snow Sports Directory at the Show? No worries. To request a hard copy of the Directory, email Directory2012@snowsports.org.
To make changes to your Directory listing please contact SIA's Membership Department at PGrenke@snowsports.org or 703.506.4222. Thanks to PrimaLoft for being a contributing sponsor of the 2012 SIA Directory.
2012 SIA SNOW SHOW MERCHANDISING TREND WRAP UP: THE MADLIBS EDITION
Tips from merchandising guru, Ali Levy, firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to Tangerine (fruit) Tango (noun) with an Urban (adjective) Lumberjack (profession) in the Purple (color) Rain (noun).
One of my favorite memories from childhood had to be playing the wordplay game MadLibs. Road trips, camping trips or sleepovers, I loved reading the finished stories that led us to periods of doubled over laughing fits. Where am I going with this, you ask? Fast forward to last month’s SIA Snow Show. Three themes seemed to stand out as I walked the show floor. I wanted to tie these three notable trends together into one sentence, which is where MadLibs come in, hence, the Tangerine Tango with an Urban Lumberjack in the Purple rain. And here’s why. There was the continued use of orange as a major player, an “urban lumberjack” persona gaining traction and the color purple emerging as a serious contender in the arena of outdoor apparel for both men and women. If I was a buyer, (which I was) what looks would I lean towards? How would I picture bringing in these assortments and make them work? How would I relay these trends with actionable merchandising plans? In this month’s newsletter I want to take these three looks and offer suggestions on how to capitalize on them while recreating a bit of that Snow Show excitement with display ideas that play off the color, texture and personality that was present on this year’s floor.
The Tangerine Tango
According to Pantone, Tangerine Tango has been declared the color of the year for 2012. It’s clear that orange is still a very relevant color in the outdoor apparel market, varying in hue from something that resembles Tang, to darker versions paired with unexpected accents like garnet, powder blue and red. Described by Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, the color orange builds on “…the ideas of courage and action, that we want to move on to better things…”and that Tangerine Tango in particular is ”…hopeful and optimistic…” combining the” …vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow”. Last March I addressed the tangerine theme in the SIA Member Newsletter. I said it back then and I will say it again that orange possesses the incredible ability to act as a colorful neutral. I mean you can pair orange with just about anything. It can anchor a vivid shade like yellow or provide a pop of color to an otherwise sedate color scheme, making it an ideal color choice for your customers and an inviting bright spot for window and store displays.
Say hello to Tangerine Tango.
Orange is an unexpected pairing with bright blue and purple.
Use vendor supported collateral from workbooks or request them and use as part of a merchandising strategy in your store. You can laminate or use foam board to mount them for display.
Blue with orange again – looks fresh.
Display ideas for a tangerine theme.
Use contact paper, wallpaper or piece together sheets of construction paper to create an interesting canvas for front windows.
I like the use of scrap paper as fans affixed to a wall. Try The Oriental Trading Company or your local dollar store to source cheap fans that will give you a similar effect without all the work.
These FLOR tiles are one of the most efficient ways to make a space stand out. You can use these in your front window or stick them on your existing carpet.
The Urban Lumberjack Theory
The Urban Lumberjack is not an urban legend. He has been seen trolling the cobbled streets of Brooklyn and Portland, OR since the mid 2000’s. The Urban Lumberjack embraces the classic American style in terms of dressing but adds modern twists like skinny jeans, repurposed buffalo plaid vests, ruggedly hip boots and meticulously groomed facial hair. They have no interest in actually foraging wood from the forest. (L.L. Bean Signature is a great example of this wearable trend as is the IFC series Whisker Wars.) Urban Lumberjack’s would probably prefer to make whiskey mash than go camping for the weekend. It may be a statement of the 99% in more recent terms, or simply a desire to live a more pure and simplified lifestyle in the city.
In Denver, at the 2012 Snow Show, there was a liberal sprinkling of what I refer to as a “Mountain Dandy Hobo”, a sort of Urban Lumberjack hybrid. These are guys who sport serious whiskers and are snappy dressers just like their city dwelling counterparts. The mountain version however indulges in various outdoor activities, thereby satisfying his need for speed as well as his need to be viewed as an authentic mountain man. Chainsaw and all. He loves plaids and prints, weathered looking outdoor jackets in earth tones, and nubby hand loomed knits in neutral tones. He takes pride in his appearance, but in a rough-hewn way. Don’t underestimate this species. He is ready to spend money if he finds something that helps him uniquely express himself in this way.
The Urban Lumberjack. Coming to an artisanal whiskey tasting near you soon.
Sweaters that look handmade are hot.
Burton captures the Lumberjack spirit.
Bringing the lumberjack aesthetic to your displays…
Genius collaboration with Burton and Red Wing Shoes. This could be a window display backdrop or you can feature this on some grid in your store. You just need pegboard and tools and wire to attach tools to pegboard or grid.
Half body forms on tree stumps.
Finally, what a great idea to use shovel heads as shelves. Find a lumberjack friend to help you assemble.
The color purple
When researching the psychology surrounding the color purple, I found results that ranged from a color that “stimulates brain activity associated with problem solving” to a shade described as creative, eccentric, spiritual and uplifting by combining the stimulating properties of red with the calming feeling of blue. Regardless, the color seemed more noticeable to me this season. Used in bold strokes for men’s jackets, to peeks of purple as accents and vibrant zippered statements, it spoke to both men and women with the unique ability to accommodate both masculine and feminine traits. There were of course the requisite blasts of yellow and shouts of pink and green. But purple was making daring strides by partnering with orange, brown and greens. Who knows if the trend will stick, but it’s brought some new life to a color often associated with not only kings and queens, but royal Prince’s.
With powder blue…
Beautiful with neutrals.
Now for some purple display ideas.
Buy some fabric and use it as a backdrop for your purple themed display.
This is one of my favorite ideas – using colored duct tape to create interesting designs in your windows.
Purple paper lanterns available from thepurplestore.com. These would look great hanging from the ceiling or in clusters on the floor of a window display.
Wrapping it up.
So what do orange, a lumberjack and the color purple have in common? (Sounds like a bad joke!) Absolutely nothing. But therein lies the beauty. The snow sports industry is full of surprise and innovation and creative liberty. I think that is what I love the most. You are only limited by your imagination as far as displays go. I hope that some of my observations and display tips get you thinking about how you can embrace the trends that work best for you. And next time you see some MadLibs, pick up a copy and laugh like a kid again.
View this complete article and past merchandising articles and our Merchandising Monday’s quicktips at snowsports.org/merchandising.
SIA is working with visual merchandising consultant Ali Levy, to provide retailers with some fresh merchandising ideas for increasing sales and interest from consumers. Levy’s impressive resume includes managing retail, buying and trade show/retail merchandising efforts for some of the industry’s biggest names including The North Face, SmartWool, Cloudveil and Marmot. For more information about her company, contact Ali at Alijlevy@gmail.com or visit her website, Alijlevy.com.
RECAP OF THE 27TH ANNUAL LEGENDARY MT. BAKER BANKED SLALOM
By Dave Wray, SIA’s Western US + Canada regional sales and marketing manager
There’s something about the turn that makes snowboarding so damn fun. And face it, most of what you do on a board involves turning. Add some frozen, banked, skate park-like walls, some of the best pro snowboarders in the world, some legends, some everyday shredders like me, a slew of groms, some gourmet/homemade food and a splash of Northwest soul and there you have it, the Legendary Mt. Baker Banked Slalom. This year, it was the same event and spirit, only better, and it’s been going on for the last 27 years. I’m guessing it could be the longest running snowboard event out there, but that’s not the point.
No hype, no fuss and no joke it’s the real deal of snowboarding and being a part of it is the highlight of my season…every season. Bob “Gumby” Gundram of C3 Worldwide said it best, “you can try to duplicate this event, but you certainly can’t replicate it.” He and several other industry dudes somehow figured out how great this event is and that the only way to get in on the action and ride the course is to sponsor the event. The roll call of industry heads goes like this: Mike “Gags” Gagliardi (Never Summer), Johan Malkoski (C3), Bob “Gumby” Gundram (C3), Blue Montgomery (C3), George Kleckner (C3), Maxx Von Marbod (POW Gloves), Eric Carlson (Smith), Corey Smith (Smith, Mtn Approach), John Kaiser (Mtn Approach), Pete Saari (Mervin), Krush Kulesza (Mervin), Andrew Marriner (Billabong), Bobby Meeks (Nike), Scott Downing (NW rep), Dustin Anderson (NW rep), Dave Graves (Rockies rep), Eric Warble (CO rep), Amy Eichner (Salomon Bonfire snowboarding) 2nd place women’s pro-masters, Bob Klein (Octagon Olympic and Action Sports), Benjamin Pellegrino (Milosport – Orem, Utah), George Bean (US Outdoor), Karma Vella (Poler), and Patrick McCarthy (686).
The fast and icy conditions of the course on Sunday took its toll on many, including myself. Usually somewhere between the 3rd and 5th turn people got bucked off the course and spit out of the turn simply because the G-forces couldn’t be managed properly. Those that did harness that energy, while continuing to generate more speed, did it the right way. Those that did that all the way down the course, each and every turn the fastest, got a roll of duct tape and huge respect from the entire community that was there.
The course is only part of the action. The real deal takes place in many different and unexpected forms and places. The Mt. Baker crew puts their entire heart and soul into this event and it really shows. They cook over 450 lbs. of salmon, the racer tent at the top is stocked with gourmet soups, Paella, chocolate and cheese fondue along with hot cider, cocoa and coffee. They’ve got a DJ up there spinning tunes, One Ball Jay holds down the waxing scene, and all this creates a one-of-a-kind vibe like no other snowboarding event out there.
This year they threw in a new twist with the addition of a free-from quarter pipe hand plant contest of sorts. This all went down at the new Ravens Hut Lodge along with the traditional salmon bake and beer garden. It’s events like this that make me feel so damn lucky to have a career in the snow industry as a professional and a rider.
Here are some random links on the event as well:
SUCCESSFUL YEAR FOR WINTER TRAILS
Winter Trails 2012 had a strong year under difficult snow conditions. Over 85 event sites signed on this year with many needing to get creative in hosting their event with limited snow. There were a few cancelations, but as Winter Trails is an introduction to snow sports, many held their event with what they had, and in doing so, exposed many people to snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
“Despite the weather, 2012 has been a great year for Winter Trails,” stated Reese Brown, Winter Trails Administrator. “The 86 event sites worked very hard to promote their events and are becoming much more sophisticated in effectively using the event to grow their business.”
2012 saw great sponsor support from the cross country community indicating their belief in the exciting growth potential of cross country skiing and the positive impact programs such as Winter Trail can have on that growth.
Winter Trails offers children and adults new to snow sports a chance to try snowshoeing and/or cross country skiing FREE at venues throughout North America. There is no charge for the use of equipment or trails. Most locations offer snowshoeing AND cross country skiing. Some locations only offer snowshoeing. Next year’s date is Saturday, January 12, 2013 with the Estes Park, CO event on Saturday, January 19, 2013.
Thank you to all Winter Trails sponsors and media partners! We couldn’t have done it without you! Sponsors include: Alpina, Atlas, Backpacker Magazine, Crescent Moon Snowshoes, Cross Country Skier Magazine, Fischer, Madshus, Mountain Safety Research (MSR), Rossignol, Salomon, SkiTrax, Snowshoe Magazine, Swix, Tubbs, Whitewoods, and XCSkiresorts.com. SIA has managed and sponsored the Winter Trails program for 12 years.
2012 SNOW SHOW FROM A RETAILER'S PERSPECTIVE
Best Practices by Lou Dzierzak, Lkdcom@visi.com
Thousands attended the 2012 SIA Snow Show on January 26-29, 2012. Snow sports specialty retailers, a key audience at the event, arrived ready to see exhibitors 2013 product introductions first hand, evaluate new technologies and confirm buying decisions for the season ahead.
With more than 900 brands and 3,340 booths, retailer’s daily calendars can be booked from dawn to way past dark. “I thought it was a great Show. As far as it being a place where business got done versus a place where a lot of people were just partying it was a much better venue,” comments Kyle Fisher, owner, Alpine Hut, Seattle WA.
Experienced snow sports retailers acknowledge the pace of innovation varies year to year. Rocker ski and snowboard technology, introduced last year, continues to drive interest from retailers and skiers. This year, hardgoods and apparel brands appeared to focus more on evolution rather than revolution.
“Last year we saw rocker in skis. That trend still has a lot of horsepower to continue to drive consumers to get new skis,” reports Bill Linkenheimer, general manager, Willi's Ski Shop, Fairfax, VA. “The industry is always innovating. Suppliers need to come up with new products to keep things fresh, stay competitive with other vendors and drive consumers into the store. Although I didn’t see much that totally impressed me as a product that consumers are going to demand, I believe the industry will continue to work toward that goal.”
New approaches to snowboard bindings attracted attention. “New snowboard binding technology was great to see being explored,” says Raul Pinto, owner, Satellite Board Shop, Boulder, CO. “I think this will allow us to tell a better story and why people should upgrade their 10 yr. old set ups. With the binding, boots and boards all doing new innovative products from brands like DCP, YES, GIGI and SLASH pushing this attitude, this will help all the other brands simply because it is a new exciting story to tell snowboarders.”
The evolution of product makes it valid for consumers to buy new product. “Customers still come in with their first generation shaped skis,” explains Fisher. “The products have changed drastically in the last 10 years if not the last five. With shaped skis and now rocker, the market has evolved in that time as much as it did the twenty years prior to that.”
Although backcountry and AT are narrow niches, new ski, boot and binding product introductions attract attention. “From a marketing standpoint it’s a great idea. It certainly puts a lot of energy into the market. People relate to the idea,” notes Patrick O’Winter, Christy Sports, Avon, CO. “But the reality is backcountry skiing in the United States is always going to be marginal.”
Technical apparel trends also elicited reactions from snow sports buyers. “I think there is a little too much European influence in the new offerings,” comments O’Winter. “European lines tend to be a fairly dark in color. For the US market that’s not a very good trend. With the hangover concerning the recession people may be more receptive to a little happier than a dark color.”
Kathy Burke, apparel buyer, Cole Sport, Park City, UT did seek out more colorful options. “We’re seeing very bright colors and fitted silhouettes with lots of 4-way stretch,” she explains.
Like hardgoods, apparel trends frequently shift between true innovation and presentations of a broader selection of colors. Imitation also plays a role. “Once an apparel brand comes out with something new and unique, it tends to get copied. That brand may have a year of exclusive then everyone jumps on that bandwagon,” says Burke. “There tends to be a lot of product that is similar in the way it feels, looks and the color and material. There’s definitely innovation out there with brands that are on the cutting edge and we’re on board with them.”
Despite the winter of 2011/2012 being a slow snow year in most areas of the country, most of the retailers still seemed upbeat. “At the SIA Snow Show, you get the pulse of the show and a peak at how to plan your next season. You get the vision of where you need to be tomorrow with your business. Relationships, partners, strategic partnerships…it’s all about the vibe and the tribe,” said Kevin “Coop” Cooper, director of social media, strategic partnerships and events, Kirkwood Mountain Resort
New products presented at the SIA Snow Show will clearly attract attention from snow sports enthusiasts. Now if the weather would only cooperate. “Innovative product is certainly important but snow is the deciding factor. In a perfect storm of good snow and new technology sales are phenomenal as a result,” says Linkenheimer. “When new technology is introduced in a bad snow year that can help make it not as bad as it might be.”
O’Winter agrees, “Product innovation is one aspect to growth but not the only one. Weather is 70-80 percent of the equation. If the snow conditions are good people want to go skiing. If the snow conditions are bad there’s nothing you can do to push them to go skiing.”
At the SIA Snow Show, the collective offerings of hundreds of exhibitors are expected to interest skiers next season. “The ski and boot manufacturers continue to evolve. I don’t know that there’s any one thing that will motivate consumers to buy next season but there’s a lot of cool products out there,” O’Winter added.
Looking forward, these retailers are planning more conservative approaches to the beginning of the 2012-13 season. “For the first time in a long time our open to buy dollars will be down next year. We saw a significant decline in demand for clothing and hardgoods. We will have more carryover than normal,” explains O’Winter.
Strong relationships between brands and retailers help both partners’ weather poor sales seasons. “We are going to commit to our real partners. The brands that might be on the fringe we may take a year off,” says Burke. “We’re being cautious and trying to make intelligent buying decisions. If we do have two years in a row of bad weather we won’t have a massive amount of inventory we have to dump. We’re willing to take risks and work with brands that we have great partnerships with. As a leader in ski you can’t compromise the direction of your store. You have to move product to make room for the new look for next year.”
Despite less than great snow conditions experienced in some parts of the snowbelt, the SIA Snow Show always leaves attendees inspired about the seasons to come. “This year hasn’t been the most profitable. Sell through in some categories has been better in some categories than others. That affects my open-to-buy,” offers Fisher.
“We find that one season drives the next. This season hasn’t been as bad as it might have been after last year. During this year’s early and preseason buyers were very eager to get their skis fixed up and buy new equipment because they used it so much last year,” reports Linkenheimer. “This year with the lack of snow, people aren’t getting out as much. Next season’s preseason may be a little slower. We need to continue to be optimistic but be mindful about our spending and advertising. We will be cautiously optimistic.”
Managing a successful snow sports specialty retail store requires expertise in an ever-changing array of business operations. Human resources, event planning, marketing, product selection, social media and e-commerce are just a few examples. Lou Dzierzak has written about these topics for over a decade. Best Practices will shorten the learning curve by offering case studies, resources and how-to tips from experts in specific fields. If you have suggestions for future topics, please feel free to contact Lou at Lkdcom@visi.com.
LEARN TO SKI AND SNOWBOARD MONTH WRAP-UP
The Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month website, skiandsnowbaordmonth.org, traffic was up 38 percent in visits this year compared to last year, despite lack of snow and cold weather for much of the winter throughout the U.S. Page views were up almost 17 percent. More than 81,500 pages were viewed during the main reporting period from October 16, 2011 – February 15, 2012. New visits accounted for almost 85 percent of all traffic – about the same as last year.
Not surprisingly, “Where to Go” was the most popular section of the site. This section provided information on resorts where consumers could take lessons and retail shops where products could be purchased.
LSSM organizers currently are surveying partners to determine how many lessons were provided via the initiative during January. A number of retail operations took part in LSSM this year along with more than a dozen SIA members. Special thanks to Head Wintersports – Black Diamond sponsor. Thanks also to Icelantic, Seirus Innovation, Hotronic, Gearing to Go Guide, Dragon Alliance, Boulder Gear, Polarmax, Icebreaker, Snowboards.net/Skis.com, 686, Giro, Marker, Scarpa, C3-Worldwide, K2, Rossignol, Scott Sports, Tecnica, and Volkl - all of which helped support our Great Products Contest either with product, funds or both.
THE WORD ON THE SLOPES
OFFICIAL NEWS: REI has announced that Angela Owen has been named senior vice president of Marketing and Lee Fromson has become senior vice president of Merchandising. Learn more… 686's twenty years of inspiration, collaboration, and innovation. Learn more…Despite recent shifts in storm systems that brought much-needed snow to many western resorts, early season momentum continues to slow and actual occupancy declined 3.7 percent among participating destinations during the month of January according to the most recent data released by the Denver-based Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP). Read more… Following its request yesterday to suspend trading of its stock, Billabong announced today that net profits for its half year ended December 31, 2011 dropped 71.8% from the same period in 2010. Learn more… Longworth Industries, parent company of Polarmax, XGO, and AYG 365’s branded technical base layers, is proud to announce Spence Bocks and Bill Kendall as Reps of the Year award for 2011 for the Polarmax and AYG Underwear brands, respectively. Read more… This year, SIA has partnered with Aspen Fashion Week (AFW) to produce an exciting new fashion show with SIA Members entitled Snow Collections Presented by SIA. Models hit The Snowstage on Monday, March 12th at 4PM in next year’s boldest snow sports high fashions from seven SIA Members including Dale of Norway, FERA, Helly Hansen, Killy, Krimson Klover, Obermeyer and SKEA. Learn more… Families, friends, Star Wars fans and snowboarders gathered last week at Sierra-At-Tahoe Resort for the official kick-off of the Burton Star Wars™ Experience. Read more… The U.S. Small Business Administration will host a series of webinars in recognition of the sixth annual National Entrepreneurship Week. The emphasis will be on financial empowerment and building the entrepreneurship skills of the next generation of small business owners, using business basics, social networking and business strategizing. Learn more.
Although snow has been scarce in the East, like elsewhere, the mood at the 2012 EWSRA/NEWSR On-Snow Demo held at Vermont’s Stratton Mountain February 7-9 was upbeat thanks to sunshine and soft, groomed snow. Read more… Salewa North America (owners of the Salewa, Dynafit, and Pomoca brands) is proud to announce two key appointments to its sales and marketing team. Jim Lamancusa will join the team as the new Director of Sales and Marketing and Matt Whiteman as the new Sales and Marketing Coordinator. Read more… Holden announces their new tee shirt collaboration with Protect Our Winters (POW) to be released August 2012. Learn more… Anthony De Rocco, President and CEO of K2 Sports, presented youth development charity SOS Outreach with a check for $25,000 to demonstrate K2’s support for programs that get youth from diverse demographic backgrounds outdoors. Read more… Evo shares its retail secrets. Seattle based ski shop, Evo’s strong marketing practices and online community have earned it four Skiing Business Industry Awards. Learn more… Squaw claims first ski-in, ski-out Starbucks. Read more… With less than three weeks to go before the 2012 TransWorld Snow Conference, it’s time to look at the big picture and what we can do to lead the charge and the change to keep the snowboard industry healthy despite difficult weather conditions. Learn more.
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