SIA Newsletter

Snow Sports Market Sales Reached $2.8 Billion on December 31st

On February 10th, The NPD Group and SIA released retail results showing the snow sports market up 2% to $2.8 billion through December 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 and December 31st 2014 were up 2% to $2.8 billion in total sales, $45 million more than the market had brought in by December 31st last season. Outerwear sales were up 4% to $1.1 billion, equipment and equipment accessories sales were down 2% to $892 million, and selected apparel accessories sales including total headwear, hand wear and base layer sales increased 7% to $354 million through December. Sales in the month of December 2014 were down 3% compared to sales in the month of December 2013. 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-Dec 2011 to Aug-Dec 2014
Source: SIA Snow Sports data produced by The NPD Group, Sports and Leisure

Sales by Channel August to December

  • Specialty Shops sales reached $1.3 billion, up 1% in dollars sold and flat in units sold
  • Chain store sales reached $808 million, up 8% in dollars sold and up 5% in units sold
  • Online sales reached $636 million, down 6% in dollars sold and down 6% in units sold

Equipment sales were much lower through online channels where a lack of inventory early in the season contributed to decreased sales volume. Equipment unit sales online were 20% lower through December compared to sales through December last season.

Specialty shops sales growth was driven by increases outerwear sales (up 4% to $404 million) and in rental equipment revenue (up 15% to $90 million). Snow sports equipment sales including alpine, snowboard, cross country, AT and telemark equipment were down 2% to $380 million in specialty shops.

Chain store sales gains were driven by increases in sales of outerwear and apparel accessories including handwear, headwear and base layer (up 7% to $150 million), snowboard equipment (up 14% to $21 million), and winter footwear (up 5% to $64 million).

Regional Sales in Snow Sports Specialty Shops August to December 2014

  • West: $471 million, up 2% in dollars sold; snow fell through mid-December in the Sierras.
  • Northeast: $399 million, flat in dollars sold; early snow and cold drove outerwear sales higher (up 6% to $113 million) and drove rental revenue up 22% to $31 million, while equipment sales fell 7% to $125 million.
  • Midwest: $245 million, up 5% in dollars sold; lake effect snowfall, cold temperatures and lower gas prices were a good combination for this region. Snowboard equipment sales jumped 10% in this region to $18 million.
  • South: $196M, down 4% in dollars sold; sales of headwear and hand wear were up and apparel sales rose 2% to $115 million, but sales of snow sports equipment fell 14% to $34 million.

Sales of women’s specific products were up 2% in dollars sold to $866 million (32% of total sales) through December 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 6% in dollars sold to $474 million through December
  • Women’s winter boots sales: up 5% to $55 million through December
  • Women’s headwear sales: up 12% to $21 million through December
  • Women’s AT Equipment sales: up 91% to $1.3 million in dollars sold through December (sales of AT/Randonee skis made specifically for women jumped 302% to $609,000)
  • Women’s snowboard equipment sales down 2% in dollars sold overall, but women’s specific snowboard boot sales are up 2% to $11 million.

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
703-506-4224

Dave Wray
Western Region
503-708-1947

Ed Wray
Eastern Region
401-743-8089

Reddy Kennedy
Rocky Mtn. & Central Region
303-579-7623

Tom Davis
All Supporting Members
703-506-4202

Conclusion

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. So far, outerwear and apparel accessories are selling strong, equipment sales through December were down slightly and rental equipment revenue soared 15% to $90 million. Past patterns suggest that sales in the Northeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and 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 KDavis@snowsports.org or visit snowsports.org/research.

SIA releases the top line results for snow sports retail seven times each season from December 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