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Snow Sports Market Breaks Another Sales Record in January!


MCLEAN, Va. (March 8, 2011) – The snow sports market broke another sales record this January with more than $500 million in sales on the heels of more than $1 billion in sales in December.  The market hit $2.6 billion for the season at the end of January; 16% higher in dollars sold and 10% more units sold compared to the same time last season. Excellent snow conditions persisted through January and consumer confidence continued its upward trend, virtually assuring record sales for the 2010/2011 season. 

 Equipment is selling very well this season and prices stayed strong through January, resulting in a 20% increase in dollars sold and 9% more units sold.  Alpine equipment sales are up 25% in dollars and 14% in units sold season-to-date.  Sales of alpine skis, with waists wider than 80mm, are up more than 50% overall. Ski systems (skis and bindings sold as one unit) are up 31% in the 70mm-79mm waist category to more than 131,000 units sold; 54% of those were women’s specific ski systems.  Snowboard equipment sales are up 12% in dollars sold as riders convert to rocker boards.  More than half of the 428,000 boards sold through January this season are reverse camber/rocker snowboards.  Boards in the “All Mountain” category brought in 32% more dollars compared to the same period last season.  Cross country equipment sales increased 15% in dollars and Alpine Touring/Randonee gear commonly used in the backcountry has increased an astounding 102% season to date.

 Apparel sales also are strong this season as La Niña conditions that brought prolific snow kept skiers and riders (and all who want to look like they spend time on the slopes) chilled.  All apparel sales are up 12% compared to last season in dollars sold.  Accessories sales increased more than 16% led by very strong surges in goggles, helmets, backcountry accessories, and gloves. 

 Overall, the snow sports market is enjoying excellent sales this season and is on track to set a new sales record.

 2010/2011 Season Trends

  • Alpine skis (flat skis sold without bindings) in the 80mm-110mm waist width category are up 60% in dollars sold on more than 50,000 units compared to 24,000 units through January last season.
  • AT/Randonee equipment sales have doubled compared to last season in units and in dollars to more than $13 million in sales in snow sports channels and up more than 50% in outdoor specialty shops this season to $8.6 million in that sales channel. 
  • Reverse/Mixed camber ski sales are up 150% in units and in dollars to more than 40,000 units sold through January.
  • Reverse camber snowboard sales are up 50% in units and 54% in dollars sold.  Reverse camber is the new norm in snowboard; 62% of all snowboards sold are rocker/reverse camber so far this season.
  • Snowboard apparel tops up 15% in dollars sold.
  • Insulated parka sales surged 23% in units sold and 25% in dollars sold through January as La Niña conditions pounded most of the U.S. with cold temperatures and snowfall.
  • Goggles sales surge up 22% in units sold to 1,454,000 pairs.

 Source:  SIA RetailTRAK™ BY Leisure Trends Group.  Topline data includes carryover sales

 Regionally, heavy snow and colder than average temperatures continued to drive consumers to buy in the Western region where sales were up 31% in equipment dollars sold, 17% in apparel, and 19% in accessories sales. The Northeast also enjoyed sales increases including 19% more in equipment dollars, 22% more in apparel, and 22% in accessories dollars sold.  In the South, snow sports participants are buying equipment to enjoy the snow falling in other regions; equipment sales are up an incredible 28% while apparel sales increased a modest 8% in dollars sold and accessories sales are up 10% in a region that was far colder and wetter last season.  The Midwestern region most closely matched sales in the South with 19% more dollars sold in the equipment category, just 5% more apparel dollars sold, and a respectable 14% increase in accessories sales.

The market data presented in this report comes from the RetailTRAK Executive Market Summary (EMS) conducted by the Leisure Trends Group. The RetailTRAK data is gathered directly from the Point of Sale systems of about 1/3 of the snow sports retailers in the U.S. market.  Each season, Leisure Trends gathers snow sports sales data from a representative panel of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers who provide sales data directly from their Point of Sale systems.  The panel and the method for extrapolating the results out to the entire industry is based on a triennial census of snow sports retailers designed to accurately define the size and structure of the snow sports retail marketplace.  SIA maintains these data for members down to the product level.  For more information about SIA’s Retail Audit information please contact Kelly Davis, SIA’s Director of Research, at