MCLEAN, Va. (April 6, 2010) - Snow Sports market sales reached $2.7 billion in February with a 3% gain in dollars sold compared with August through February last season. The number of units sold has declined across the market this season as sales of carryover items and unit sales in some specific categories like fleece and sweaters have diminished. W
armer weather in states north of the Mason-Dixon Line, less snow in the Rockies and wetter and colder weather in the south have contributed to shifting sales patterns this season.
Reduction in carryover sales coupled with more purchases of current season model equipment and apparel kept dollar sales in the green even as the number of units sold declined 3% overall. Specialty shops enjoyed higher margins and saw significant declines in inventory through February, resulting in improved cash flow. Significant declines in the Western and Northeastern regions’ sales, particularly in snowboard equipment sold resulted in flat dollar sales.
Weather patterns typical for El Niño conditions drove sales in a colder and wetter Southern U.S. region, but hampered sales in the Rockies and in the warmer-than-average Northwest. Weather will continue to drive sales as late season snow returns to the atypically dry Rockies and the results of record snow in the south and Mid-Atlantic are completely realized in the market.
Seasonal sales, compared to 2009
Unit sales change: -5.15%
Dollar sales change: 0.82%
Unit sales change: -3.85%
Dollar sales change: 3.54%
Unit sales change: -2.96%
Dollar sales change: 7.09%
Unit sales change: -3.36%
Dollar sales change: 3.29%
Source: SIA Retail Audit, All Stores August through February. Carryover sales included.
Rocker – Not just for snowboards anymore. Rocker, also known as reverse camber skis, sales have increased from 2,697 pairs sold in 2008-09 to 6,967 sold through January 2009-10. Rocker snowboard sales have doubled since last season from 20,070 to 43,772 boards sold.
Snowboard Equipment – Overall sales suffering with declines of 7% in units and 4% in dollars, coupled with increases in carryover sales while most current season snowboard equipment sales have declined – except for rocker boards.
Backcountry – AT/Randonee ski sales up 48% in units and 49% in dollars sold.
High Performance Alpine Boots – up 17% in units and 21% in dollars sold.
Helmets – Record sales! More than 1.1 million helmets sold through February this season.
Snowshoes – Sales up 7% in dollars with 117,887 units sold in snow sports shops.
Alpine Tops – Up 4% in dollars sold compared to an 8% decrease in dollars sold for snowboard apparel tops.
Fleece and Sweaters – Units sales in fleece are down 9% in units, a decline of 221,966 units and retailers have sold 51,960 fewer sweaters this season.