SIA Newsletter

Snow Sports Market Sales Reach $4.1 Billion in February

On April 15th, The NPD Group and SIA released retail results showing the snow sports market up 3%, reaching $4.1 billion in sales through February 2014, $124 million more than the same time last season. 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.

Outerwear sales were up 5% to $1.3 billion, equipment and equipment accessories sales were down 2% to $1.1 billion, and selected apparel accessories sales including headwear, handwear and base layer sales increased 4% to $443 million through February.

Sales for the month of February 2015 were down 4% compared to sales in the month of February 2014. Weather patterns that include heavy snow in the Northeast and poor snow sports conditions on the Pacific coast continued to impact the snow sports market.


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

Sales by Channel August 2014 – February 2015

  • Specialty Shops sales reached $2.1 billion, down 1% in dollars sold and down 4% in units sold
  • Chain store sales reached $1.1 billion, up 10% in dollars sold and up 8% in units sold
  • Online sales reached $934 million, up 5% in dollars sold and  up 4% in units sold

    Note: In the February dataset, NPD adjusted the methodology used to determine total sales for the Internet/Online distribution channel from August 2014 through January 2015. The changes have increased the Snow Internet channel size by $90 million and shifted the season-to-date trend by 10% for this time period. See a full explanation under the section below: “Re-Projection of Online Results and General Changes in the Snow Sports Data Produced by The NPD Group.”

Despite the adjustments to the projection model for Snow Internet sales, equipment sales results were down overall through online channels. Alpine equipment sales were off 8% in dollars sold, cross country equipment sales were down 18% in dollars sold, and snowboard equipment sales were flat in dollars sold. However, apparel sales were up 10% to $627 million, or 67% of all dollars sold in snow sports products online.

Specialty shops sales were down 1% in dollars sold to $ 2.1b billion through February 2015 compared to August 2013 – February 2014. Apparel sales were up 2% to $1 billion and in rental equipment revenue (up 17% to $170 million). Alpine equipment sales were down 5% in dollars sold, snowboard equipment sales decreased 7% in specialty shops to $135 million, and cross country equipment sales languished with a 10% drop in sales to $21 million. One bright spot in equipment sales was alpine touring equipment, sales increased 35% to $7.4 million through February.

Chain store sales gains (up 10% in dollars sold to $1.1 billion) were driven by increases in sales of outerwear (up 10% to $462 million) and apparel accessories including handwear, headwear and base layer (up 11% to $208 million), snowboard equipment (up 10% to $28.1 million) and winter footwear (up 8% to $86 million).

Regional Sales in Snow Sports Specialty Shops August to February 2015

  • West: $802 million, down 4% in dollars sold; drought continued in California and the Pacific Northwest had higher than average temperatures, Utah had below average conditions in February and the Rockies had snow but several warm periods between storms.
  • Northeast: $614 million, up 2% in dollars sold; continued snow and good conditions finally drove an increase in sales.
  • Midwest: $380 million, up 4% in dollars sold; lake effect snowfall, cold temperatures cold and lower gas prices were a good combination for this region. Snowboard equipment sales jumped 10% in this region to $26 million.
  • South: $322 million, down 5% in dollars sold; sales of headwear were up 4% and outerwear sales rose 1% to $136 million but sales of snow sports equipment fell 11% to $90 million.

Sales of women’s specific products were up 4% in dollars sold to $1.2 billion (30% of total sales) through February 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, up 11% in dollars sold to $694 million through February
  • Women’s winter boots sales up 4% to $72 million through February
  • Women’s headwear sales up 17% to $30 million through February
  • Women’s AT/Randonee skis sales jumped 402% to $949,000
  • Women’s snowboard equipment sales down 2% in dollars sold overall, but women’s specific snowboard boot sales are up 2% to $16 million.

Re-Projection of Online Results and General Changes in the Snow Sports Data Produced by The NPD Group

In the February dataset, NPD adjusted the methodology used to determine total sales for the Internet/Online distribution channel from August 2014 through January 2015. The increased accuracy of the new projections better reflects the raw data trend coming in from retailers on the NPD retail panel who are engaged in online sales for this time period.

The changes have increased the Snow Internet channel size by $90 million and shifted the season-to-date trend by 10% for this time period. When viewing the data with all channels combined, the overall market trend in dollars sold increased by 2% versus what was previously reported August 2014 to January 2015.


In addition to this re-projection of Snow Internet channel data, 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 continue to have significant impacts on snow sports retail sales. So far this season, outerwear and apparel accessories sales are strong, equipment sales through February were down slightly and rental equipment revenue soared 17% to $174 million. 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 15th, 2015: August – February
  • May 12th, 2015: August – March