SIA Newsletter

SNOW SPORTS RETAIL SALES UP 9% AT MID-SEASON MARK

The snow sports retail market had a record holiday selling season, but severe drought in the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges tempered the celebration. On February 18, SIA Research will release the 2013/2014 Mid-season Market Intelligence Report covering retail data and consumer trends through December 31 for the following categories:

  • Alpine
  • Snowboard
  • Nordic
  • Apparel
  • Accessories
  • Backcountry

Overall, snow sports retail sales reached a new record $2.26B season to date (August to December), $193M more than was spent at retail through December last season and $26.5M more than the previous record for sales through December set during the epic 2010/2011 season. This is a welcome turn-around for much of the country but despite the new record, December sales were negatively impacted by severe drought in the Sierra range where the snowpack is more than 80% below normal and in the Cascades where conditions in the high country were healthier than in lower elevations, but overall the snowpack is 50% below average. By contrast, the Midwest, Northeast and mid-Atlantic weather conditions were excellent for the snow sports market and record cold as far south as the Florida panhandle drove apparel and accessories sales to record levels.

chart_1_021814

 

Source:  NOAA National Snow Analysis December 25, 2013

Overall Snow Sports Market Sales through All Channels August through November 30, 2013

  • Equipment Sales- $541M, up 6% in dollars sold and up 5% in units sold
  • Apparel Sales- $985M, up 7% in dollars sold and up 2% in units sold
  • Accessories Sales- $734M, up 15% in dollars sold up 10% in units sold

Notable Trends

  • Alpine Touring/Randonee (AT) equipment continues to enjoy significant increases in sales, through December AT equipment sales increased 23% in dollars sold and 20% in units sold.
  • Sales of Alpine/AT boots defined as alpine DIN boots that can be converted to an AT/Touring sole for Backcountry use may be one of hottest items in the alpine market. Sales of alpine/AT boots are up 28% in units sold to 53,000 units sold, and up 21% in dollars sold to $20M. Alpine/AT boots make up nearly 15% of dollars sold and 10% of units sold in the alpine boot market so far this season.
  • Women are getting prepped to hit the trails. Sales of women’s specific cross country equipment increased 50% in units sold and 43% in dollars sold to over $4M through December. Overall, sales of cross country equipment were up 16% in dollars sold and up % in units sold.
  • More girls are getting snowboard equipment this year. Junior girls snowboarding equipment sales grew 17% in units sold and 18% in dollars sold through December. Overall, snowboard equipment sales are up 2% in dollars sold to $167M.
  • Backcountry accessories sales including beacons, probes and shovels increased 17% in dollars sold and 14% in units sold through December.  Beacons led the way with a 20% increase in units sold to 13,500 units through December.
  • Sales of protective gear including pads, wrist guards, and general impact gear increased 28% in units sold and 34% in dollars sold through December.
  • Action cameras may be the single most popular accessory in the snow sports market right now. Sales of action cameras were up 19% in units sold to 81,000 cameras and up 36% in dollars sold to $27M through December.
  • Alpine insulated tops sales were up 20% in dollars sold to $362M and up 15% in units to more than 2M units sold.
  • Apparel accessories that include gloves, baselayer, headwear, neck gaiters, etc. increased 12% in units sold and 15% in dollars sold to $402M through December.

Conclusion

2013/2014 snow sports sales are very healthy, but drought conditions in the Pacific West, particularly California, are a concern this season. Beyond snow sports, conditions in California could severely impact the state’s economy. Record cold temperatures in the Midwest, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and even the in the Deep South will drive apparel accessories sales higher. Snow and cold temperatures explain about ¾ of the variance in snow sports sales season to season. The job market, gas prices and other variables do little to explain overall trends in the snow sports market. Overall, the snow sports market has more than 19M participants in skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, telemark and alpine touring. This season, we project that consumers will spend more than $3.5M on equipment, apparel and accessories in the snow sports market.

The retail data is produced by Leisure Trends, an NDP Group Company. Total market projections are based on data collected from the Point of Sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers.

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

  1. November 7, 2013 August – September
  2. December 7, 2013 (est.) August – October
  3. January 5, 2014 (est.) August – November
  4. January 31, 2014 August – December
  5. March 5, 2014 (est.) August – January
  6. April 5, 2014 (est.) August – February
  7. 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 KDavis@snowsports.org. Visit Snowsports.org/research to learn more.