January Sales in Snow Sports Followed the Weather
SnowSports Industries America (SIA), the snow sports industry’s member-owned trade association,and Leisure Trends, an NPD Group Company have released SIA RetailTRAK™ numbers for August through January 2014, total market projections are based on data collected from the Point of Sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers.
The snow sports retail market finished January up 4% in units sold and up 7% in dollars sold to $2.8 billion for all equipment, apparel and accessories. Snow sports retailers brought in $178 million more dollars through January this season compared to August to January 2012/2013 despite weather conditions that disrupted snow sports retail markets.
Drought conditions in the Pacific West and record cold snaps (Polar Vortex) in the Northeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and as far south as Baton Rouge, Louisiana had both positive and negative impacts on snow sports retail sales in January. In fact, compared to January 2013, sales in January 2014 were down 7% in equipment sales, down 12% in apparel sales, and up 10% in accessories sales. When the temperatures dip well below normal consumers who will never see a slope or a trail may head to snow sports retailer for gloves, hats, and apparel tops that will help them weather abnormally frigid temperatures.
Leaner inventory levels are another key factor at work in the snow sports market this season. Equipment inventories are 10% lower through January and apparel inventories are down 11% overall. Scarcity is healthy for the market. Scarcity results in higher margins and diminishes the need for discounting in the middle of the season putting more money into retailers pockets and increasing open-to-buy budgets. Average retail prices are 2% higher in equipment, 6% higher in apparel, and 6% higher for accessories through January. Margins are up 3% in equipment, up 3% in apparel, and up 4% in accessories. This bodes well for February and March specialty sales.
Overall Snow Sports Market Sales through All Channels August through January 31, 2014
- Equipment Sales: $670 million, up 4% in dollars sold and up 5% in units sold
- Apparel Sales: $1.2 billion, up 3% in dollars sold and up 2% in units sold
- Accessories Sales: $952 million, up 14% in dollars sold up 10% in units sold
Snow Sports Market by Channel August through January 31, 2014
- Specialty: Up 6% in units sold and up 8% in dollars sold to $1.5B
- Chain: Down 2% in units sold and up 4% in dollars sold to $632M
- Internet: Up 5% in units sold and up 8% in dollars sold to $707M
Regional Specialty Sales
All regions showed positive sales through January with the overall highest percentage increase in units (+15%) sold in the South. Accessories led the increase in the southern region with a 19% jump in the number of goggles sold (163,417 units), hand warmer sales were up 50% in units sold to 233,045 units, and base layer sales were up 19% to 238,246 units sold. Accessories sales in the Northeast increased 17% in units sold. Gear including gloves (up 24% in units), baselayer, (up 11% in units), and socks (up 17% in units) flew off the shelves as the “Polar Vortex” brought Arctic temeperatures to the Eastern half of the U.S. In the Northeast, equipment sales suffered (down 11% in units sold) , most likely due to scarce inventory and super-cold temperatures in that region. Equipment sales were up in all other regions through January.
- Alpine Touring/Randonee equipment continues to enjoy significant increases in sales, through January AT equipment sales increased 11% in dollars sold and 11% in units sold.
- Sales are up again in alpine/AT hybrid boots defined as alpine DIN boots with a walk/ski mode that can be converted (but many consumers never do convert them) to an AT/Touring sole for Backcountry. These boots are categorized separately from boots sold in the AT category; AT boots that are sold with backcountry blocks and are used most often in backcountry terrain are categorized separately from alpine equipment. Sales of alpine/AT boots are up 21% in units sold to 68,000 units sold, and up 21% in dollars sold to $27M. Alpine/AT boots make up nearly 15% of dollars sold and 11% of units sold in the alpine boot market so far this season.
- Overall, sales of AT/Randonee equipment are up 11% in units sold and up 11% in dollars sold to $13M. AT boot sales are up 3% in units sold and 12% in dollars sold, and AT binding sales are up 15% in units sold to 18,700 units, and up 12% in dollars sold to $7 million through January.
- Women are getting prepped to hit the trails. Sales of women’s specific cross country equipment increased 37% in units sold and 32% in dollars sold to $4.8 million through January. Overall, sales of cross country equipment were up 13% in both dollars and units sold.
- More girls are getting snowboard equipment this year. Junior girls snowboarding equipment sales grew 21% in units sold and 22% in dollars sold through January. Overall, snowboard equipment sales are flat in dollars sold to $202 million.
- Backcountry accessories sales including beacons, probes and shovels increased 17% in dollars sold and 12% in units sold through January. Beacons led the way with a 16% increase in units sold to 15,630 units through January.
- Sales of protective gear including pads, wrist guards, and general impact gear increased 19% in units sold and 27% in dollars sold to $3.2 million through January.
- Action cameras may be the single most popular accessory in the snow sports market right now. Sales of action cameras were up 13% in units sold to 91,500 cameras and up 27% in dollars sold to $31 million through January.
- Alpine insulated parka sales were up 19% in dollars sold to $309 million and up 13% in units to 1.7 million parkas sold between August 1, 2013 and January 31, 2014 in snow sports channels.
- Sales of selected apparel accessories including mittens and gloves, baselayer, headwear, neck gaiters, and masks increased 16% in units sold and 14% in dollars sold to $373 million through January.
- Snowshoe sales are up 5% in units sold to 75K units and 6% in dollars to $11 million sold through January. Snowshoe inventory levels are down more than 30% and various popular models may become very difficult to find later this season.
Sales are healthy through January 2014 despite drought conditions in the Pacific West, and record cold temperatures in the Midwest, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and the Deep South. February brought snow to the Pacific west, although not enough to stave off many impacts of the drought, and cold weather and snow persisted for much of the lower 48 states. Overall, the snow sports market has more than 19 million participants in skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, telemark and alpine touring. This season, we project that consumers will spend more than $3.5 billion this season on equipment, apparel and accessories in the snow sports market.
For more information about snow sports retail sales, market data and other SIA Research products including the Snow Sports Market Intelligence Report, SIA State of the Industry Videos, Snow Sports Participation Study and other exclusive industry reports, please contact Kelly Davis, SIA’s Director of Research at KDavis@snowsports.org or visit snowsports.org/research.
SIA releases the top line results for snow sports retail seven times each season from November to May covering results of retail sales made between August 1 and March 31 each season. 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 Leisure Trends Cross-Industry RetailTRAK™ data portal. Non-SIA members may subscribe to the topline portal for just $375 per year.
SIA RetailTRAK™ Data 2013/2014 Season Release Schedule
- November 5, 2013 (actual) August – September
- December 5, 2013 (actual.) August – October
- January 5, 2014 (actual) August – November
- January 28, 2014 (actual) August – December
- March 4, 2014 (actual) August – January
- April 5, 2014 (est.) August – February
- May 6, 2014 (est.) August – March