The December Snow Sports Market Saw Snow in the West, Suffering in the East - Snowsports Industries America

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The December Snow Sports Market Saw Snow in the West, Suffering in the East

February 25, 2016 | 0 Comments

In conjunction with The NPD Group – Sports and Leisure Trends™, we have just released NPD DecisionKey®  numbers for August to December 2015. Total market projections are based on data collected from the Point of Sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers.

Sales in the snow sports market nationally were down 4% in dollars sold to $2.85B through December 31st this season.  Although the Pacific West was finally getting relief from a four year (or longer) snow drought, retailers in the East and Midwest were suffering from a lack of winter weather and corresponding lack of winter gear sales.  Outerwear sales including fleece, shell, insulated shell and softshell tops and bottoms finished December down 3% in dollars sold to $1.2B and accounted for more than 40% of all dollars spent in the snow sports market during the 2015 holiday season.  Apparel accessories sales including handwear, headwear, socks and baselayer sales were down 8% to $348M. 

Overall, equipment sales were down on significantly lower sales in the Northeast and Midwest where many specialty retailers saw their sales plummet due to unseasonably warm temperatures and lack of snow.  Snowboard equipment sales were down 4% nationally to $176M, but saw a 25% increase in sales across the Western U.S.  Alpine ski equipment sales fell 3% to $351M nationwide, but sales in the West increased 8%.  Across all regions, cross country equipment sales were down 22% to $17.5M, and alpine touring equipment sales fell 8.3% to $9.6M.


Source:  SIA Snow Sports Retail Data produced by the NPD Group

  • Snow Sports Specialty Shop sales decreased 5% overall in dollars sold through December to $1.4B nationwide. Northeastern specialty shops’ sales fell 16% to $390M, Midwestern specialty shops’ sales fell 19% to $211M and specialty retailers in the South saw sales fall 3% to $209M. The West region which covers the Pacific West and the Rocky Mountain areas enjoyed a 13% increase in sales to $554M. Chain Store Sales decreased 7% to $768M through December. Online Sales were flat to slightly down at $716M through December.

For more information about snow sports research and market intelligence products including retail, wholesale, consumer, participation and special reports, please contact SIA’s Consumer Insights Manager, Agy Ozdowski at [email protected] 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® 2015/2016 season release schedule:

  1. December 15, 2015: August – October
  2. January 15, 2016: August – November
  3. February, 25, 2016: August – December
  4. March 15, 2016: August – January
  5. April 15, 2016: August – February
  6. May 15, 2016: August – March

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