SIA Newsletter


The first of seven SnowSports RetailTRAK™ reports has been released for this season showing snow sports retailers sold $305M in apparel, accessories and equipment in August and September this year, up 3% compared to the same period in 2012.  Retailers host tent sales and back-to-school sales during this period and typically use these pre-season sales to move carryover inventories and make room for the product they will sell at full margin this season.

Overall Snow Sports Market Sales through All Channels

  • Equipment Sales- $76M, down 4% in dollars sold and down 4% in units sold
  • Apparel Sales- $128M, up 6% in dollars sold and down 4% in units sold
  • Accessories Sales- $101M, up 4% in dollars sold and down 1% in units sold

The best way to measure the effectiveness of those sales is by checking inventory levels and (decrease is positive) and average prices (up is positive).  On September 30th this year, snow sports specialty inventory levels were down about 7% overall in units while average prices increased 5% compared to August and September 2012.  Lower inventory levels and higher average retail prices portend higher margins for retailers moving forward this season.


Source:  SIA RetailTrak™ data produced by Leisure Trends, and NPD Group Company

Specialty Shops

Specialty Shops are defined as single and multiple store retail organizations that concentrate their merchandise at medium and high price points. These stores typically provide a higher level of service and are independently owned and operated.

Specialty shops’ receipts totaled $132 million in August and September 2013, 7% less than August and September last season.  Unit sales are down 7% overall in specialty shops.

  • Equipment Sales- $45M, down 17% in dollars sold and down 20% in units sold
  • Apparel Sales- $46M, down 3% in dollars sold and down 9% in units sold
  • Accessories Sales- $41M, up 1% in dollars sold and flat in units sold

Specialty Channel Highlights:

  • Alpine/AT Boot (sold with removable alpine block and a walk mode for use with AT bindings) sales are up 20% in dollars and up 29% in units sold.
  • Women’s insulated parka sales are up 10% in dollars sold and up 5% in units sold to more than 31K units sold
  • Sweater sales are up 8% in dollars sold and up 11% in units sold to 23K units
  • Base Layer dollar sales are up 16% in units and up 17% in units sold to 129K units

Chain Stores

Chain stores are retail organizations that operate stores throughout either a regional or national area. Merchandise is centered in the medium and lower price points. Additionally, chain stores tend to promote heavily and discount deeper than specialty stores.

Chain stores’ receipts totaled $75M in August and September 2013, 7% more than August and September last season.  Unit sales are up 4% overall in chain stores.

  • Equipment Sales- $6.5M, up 10% in dollars sold and up 33% in units sold
  • Apparel Sales- $37M, up 9% in dollars sold and up 7% in units sold
  • Accessories Sales- $31M, up 3% in dollars sold and up 1% in units sold

Chain Store Channel Highlights:

  • Equipment sales in chain stores have increased dramatically in the pre-season 2013/2014.  The data indicate that chain store’s tent sales and pre-season “blow-outs” were successful.  Almost half of the skis, boots and boards sold were sold as carryover, meaning they were sold at, or below average retail margin – typical for the pre-season sales.
  • Average prices for equipment in chain stores were 54% below average prices for equipment sold in specialty shops.  Consumers looking for less sophisticated gear at the lowest prices are likely to shop in this channel.
  • Insulated parka sales reached 84K units and $10M in chain stores through September, up 59% in units and up 60% in dollars sold.
  • Headwear (hats, not helmets) sales increased 23% in dollars sold and 25% in dollars sold to 95K units sold through September.

Internet/Online Stores

The panel of internet/catalog merchants comprises the core pure play ecommerce & catalog retailers as well as chain and specialty brick & mortar retailers that have an online presence. Brick & mortar retailers provide a separate report for their online transactions.

Online sales totaled $98.5M up 15% in dollars sold but sales are down 5% in units sold through September.

  • Equipment Sales- $25M, up 25% in dollars sold and up 22% in units sold
  • Apparel Sales- $44M, up 14% in dollars sold and down 9% in units sold
  • Accessories Sales- $31M, up 11% in dollars sold and down 6% in units sold

Internet/Online Channel Highlights:

  • Increases in dollars sold coupled with decreases in units sold in the apparel and accessories categories indicate that in the online channel products are selling at higher margins in these categories.  In fact, average prices for equipment, apparel and accessories online are just 6% lower than specialty average prices and are 32% higher than average prices in chain stores.
  • Online sales of snowboard equipment are up 12% in units sold and up 18% in dollars sold to $9.5M.  41% of snowboard equipment dollars were sold online, 47% were sold in specialty shops, and 12% in chain stores.
  • Alpine bindings sales soared online to more than 11K sets of bindings at average prices above specialty shop average prices.  Bindings sales online increased 48% in dollars sold and 53% in units sold through September.
  • Average prices for apparel available online increased 23% from $86.96 for August and September 2012 last season to $106.74 through September this season.

Gain a deeper understanding of the market from the 2013 State of the Industry Video, data reported from the Snow Sports Market Intelligence Report and other SIA Research Reports.

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 7, 2013 August – September
  • December 7, 2013 (est.) August – October
  • January 5, 2014 (est.) August – November
  • January 31, 2014 August – December
  • March 5, 2014 (est.) August – January
  • April 5, 2014 (est.) August – February
  • May 6, 2014 (est.) August – March

For more information about snow sports research and market intelligence products including retail, wholesale, consumer, participation, and special reports please contact Kelly Davis, SIA Director of Research at 703-556-9020 or by email at