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Apparel sales declined steeply at core surf and skate stores in 2010, according to the 2010 SIMA Distribution Study released yesterday at Surf Summit.
The study gathered data for 2010 from core stores in the U.S., not company stores or national chains or department stores, and compared it to results for the same study in 2008.
Apparel sales fell 41.1% to $1 billion in 2010.
Overall sales at core surf and skate stores fell 13.5% from 2008 to 2010. Total sales in 2010 in the core channel totaled $4.6 billion.
That 2010 figure of a $4.6 billion core market is smaller than the $4.87 billion size of the market in 2004, the first year of the study.
Bright spots included footwear, which rose 8.2% from 2008 to 2010, reaching $1.5 billion in sales in 2010.
Wetsuit sales also rose 24.3% during the two-year period, reaching $110.4 million.
Accessory sales declined 10.6% to $501 million in 2010. Sunglasses, hats and duffel bags/backpacks contributed the most to sales.
Hardgoods equipment sales grew 35% to $1.46 billion in 2010. The rise of the SUP market and the higher price points helped boost those figures.
Regionally, while the West is still the dominant region for sales, the percentage of total sales in the West declined to 47% in 2010 from 52% in 2008.
Sales in the South as a percentage of the total increased to 29% from 26% in 2008.
Midwest sales accounted for 10% of the total, up from 8% in 2008.
The Northeast remained flat at 14% of total industry sales.
When looking at the West Coast and East Coast, the percentage of sales became closer over the time period, with West Coast sales accounting for 38% of the total in 2010 and East Coast accounting for 33%.
While a 13.5% decline for the overall core surf and skate market is not good news, SIMA President Doug Palladini provided some statistics from other industries to put the numbers in context.
Snowsports: down 5.9
Autos: down 21%
Apparel: down 5.2 %
Box office: down 5.2%
Music: down 12.8%
Leisure Trends estimates the total size of the surf and skate market at retail is $6.24 billion, including national chain stores and other large retailers. That figure is down 13.6% from 2008 and is smaller than the $6.52 billion total size of market in 2004.
Leisure Trends conducted the survey in January and February of this year. The results included results from 392 retailers who were interviewed by telephone.