SIA Newsletter

Snow Sports Market Sales Reach $3.4B in January

On March 13th, The NPD Group and SIA released retail results showing the snow sports market up 2% to $3.4 through January 2014. Total market projections are based on retail data collected by The NPD Group from the Point of Sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers.

Snow sports retail sales made between August 1st, 2014 and January 31st 2015 were up 2% to $3.4B in total sales, $49M more than the market had brought in by January 31st last season. Outerwear sales were up 5% to $1.3B, equipment and equipment accessories sales were down 2% to $1.1B, and selected apparel accessories sales including total headwear, hand wear and base layer sales increased 4% to $443M through January.

Sales in the month of January 2015 were up 3% compared to sales in the month of January 2015. Weather patterns that include heavy snow in the Northeast and poor snow sports conditions on the Pacific coast are expected to impact the snow sports market as the season continues.

Total Snow Sports Retail Market Trends Aug-Jan 2014/2015

Source: SIA Snow Sports data produced by The NPD Group, Sports and Leisure

Sales by Channel August to January

  • Specialty Shops sales reached $1.7B virtually flat in dollars sold and down 2% in units sold
  • Chain store sales reached $947M +10% in dollars sold and +8% in units sold
  • Online sales reached $740M -6% in dollars sold and -6% in units sold

Equipment sales were much lower through online channels where several variables including a lack of inventory early in the season, a change in the way some large retailers record online sales, and issues surrounding weather and overall timing of consumers purchases contributed to decreased sales volume. Equipment unit sales online were 18% lower through January compared to sales through January last season.

Specialty shops sales were even with last season through January 2015 at $1.7B. There were increases in outerwear sales (+4% to $508M) and in rental equipment revenue (up 6% to $113M). Snow sports equipment sales including alpine, snowboard, cross country, AT, and telemark equipment were down 2% to $493M in specialty shops. On bright spot in equipment sales was alpine touring equipment, sales increased 36% to $6.3M through January.

Chain store sales gains were driven by increases in sales of outerwear (+10% to $395M) and apparel accessories including hand wear, headwear and base layer (+9% to $181M), snowboard equipment (+18% to $25M), and winter footwear (+11% to $59M).

Regional Sales in Snow Sports Specialty Shops August to January 2015

  • West: $653M, +1% in $ sold – drought continued in California and the PNW had higher than average temperatures, but the Rocky Mountains enjoyed about average snow.
  • Northeast: $502M , down 1% in $ sold – too much snow may have prevented an increase in sales as customers had a difficult time getting to specialty retail shops to make purchases.
  • Midwest: $310M, +5% in $ sold – lake effect snowfall, cold temperatures cold and lower gas prices were a good combination for this region. Snowboard equipment sales jumped 11% in this region to $20.3M.
  • South: $272M, -4% in $ sold – Sales of handwear were up, and outerwear sales rose 1% to $105M but sales of snow sports equipment fell 10% to $84M

Sales of women’s specific products were up 2% in dollars sold to $866M (32% of total sales) through January this season. In addition, women make 80% of all household spend decisions and influence 95% of all spending decisions in households.

Other women’s specific results:

  • Women’s outerwear sales +5% in $ sold to $530M through January
  • Women’s winter boots sales up 6% to $62M through January
  • Women’s headwear sales +13% to $23M through January
  • Women’s AT/Randonee skis sales jumped 381% to $169K
  • Women’s snowboard equipment sales down 1% in $ sold overall, but women’s specific snowboard boot sales are up 5% to $13M.

Changes in the Snow Sports Data Produced by The NPD Group

There have been substantial modifications to the retail data since last season due to the October 2013 acquisition of The Leisure Trends group by The NPD Group. The transition from Leisure Trends data to NPD data represents significant shifts in the projection model and in the way users access their data. This season, subscribers to the snow sports retail data will use the NPD proprietary interface – DecisionKey® to access the retail data. The RetailTRAK™ interface portal formerly used by Leisure Trends is no longer in service. The new NPD DecisionKey® interface provides snow sports data subscribers a broader view of the snow sports market data including apparel, accessories and equipment. Additionally, snow sports data subscribers will have more tools to build views of their data, and more options for saving and downloading their reports. If you have any questions or concerns about this retail data please contact Kelly Davis, SIA Research Director at 703-506-4224, or contact your SIA Sales & Marketing Manager.

Here are your SIA contacts for requests and questions about Research:

Kelly Davis
Research Director

Dave Wray
Western Region

Ed Wray
Eastern Region

Reddy Kennedy
Rocky Mtn. & Central Region

Tom Davis
All Supporting Members


Weather patterns that include heavy snow in the Northeast, colder than average temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic and South, drought in California and warmer than average temperatures in the Pacific Northwest will have significant impacts on snow sports retail sales this season. Additionally, holiday promotions that moved business earlier into October and November appear to have hurt December sales and pulled average selling prices down. So far this season, outerwear and apparel accessories sales are strong, equipment sales through January were down slightly and rental equipment revenue soared 8% to $116M. Past patterns suggest that sales in the Northeast, Midwest, mid-Atlantic and the South will finish the season strong while poor snow conditions in the west may cause retail sales and frequency of participation in snow sports to dip accordingly.

For more information about snow sports research and market intelligence products including retail, wholesale, consumer, participation and special reports, please contact Kelly Davis, SIA’s Director of Research at or visit

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 The NPD Group’s proprietary user interface, the DecisionKey® data portal.

The NPD Group’s Decision Key® 2014/2015 season release schedule:

  • December 7, 2014: August – October
  • January 13, 2015: August – November
  • February 10, 2015: August – December
  • March 10, 2015: August – January
  • April 13th, 2015: August – February
  • May 12th, 2015: August – March