With gas prices through the roof and air travel becoming the stuff of nightmares, Americans are looking for a better alternative for their 2008 summer vacations. Enter the "staycation" – an idea that you don’t have to travel far to have a great time. Savvy outdoor retailers pounced on this idea early, promoting camping and outdoor vacations as this summer’s low-cost, low-stress leisure option. The June edition of The Outdoor Topline Report, produced for Outdoor Industry Association by the Leisure Trends Group, suggests that their efforts paid off, reporting YTD sales through June are up 9% in dollars for all core outdoor retailers.*
At the close of Q2, sales of camping equipment are on a strong upward trend, growing significantly over 2007. According to the Outdoor Topline Report, items such as tents, sleeping bags, packs, water bottles, stoves, mattresses, hiking boots and outdoor clothing each made gains over 07 and contributed to the healthy overall growth in YTD sales.
Outdoor internet merchants were another positive factor in YTD sales, contributing $437M to the bottom line so far in 2008. The internet channel grew 24% in units and 22% in dollars for the YTD period and accounted for 19% of all core outdoor dollar sales, up from 17% in 2007. All four major product categories (equipment, equipment accessories, apparel and footwear) increased sales online in 2008.
Paddlesport sales did not fare as well. A strong April and a record May could not overcome the weak Q1 sales and lackluster consumer spending in June. Year-to-date, all paddlesport sales dropped 7% in units and 6% in dollars, for a total of $156M. June 08 sales dropped 7% in dollars below June 07 for a total of $58M. Unit sales decreased 3% for the same period. Boats, a $32.5M category in June, dropped 7% and 10% in units and dollars respectively. Kayaks lost 12% in dollars, ending the month with $27M.
June saw sales in some outdoor categories begin to soften as well. However, the outdoor sector remained healthy overall. Total outdoor product sales from all three channels (specialty, chain and internet)* reached $389M in June and gained 2% in units and 5% in dollars over June 2007. Equipment, equipment accessories and apparel each gained sales for the month, while weak sandal sales dragged down the entire footwear category.
Outdoor specialty stores saw flat dollar sales in June, as a 2% increase in retail prices was negated by a 2% decrease in unit sales compared to June 2007. In dollars, apparel gained 2%, equipment gained 2%, equipment accessories lost 1% and footwear dropped 3%.
Outdoor chain stores gained 1% and 4% in units and dollars, respectively, compared to the same month last year. Equipment, equipment accessories and apparel each made dollar gains for the month, while footwear sales dropped.
Outdoor internet stores enjoyed healthy sales in June, growing 20% in both units and dollars. Apparel, equipment and equipment accessories each saw double-digit dollar growth in June, while footwear sales grew 7%.
*OIA Topline Report Outdoor and Paddle channels include: outdoor and paddle specialty, national outdoor chains, regional sporting goods chains and outdoor (and paddle) internet specialty merchants.
To access the OIA outdoor retail sales Topline data and to review trends by industry channel and category, OIA members can log in at http://www.outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353 for assistance.
For additional brand growth and brand and model market share reports, please contact Leisure Trends Group at 303.786.7900 x107 http://www.leisuretrends.com.
About Outdoor Industry Association
Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, market and social research, business-to-business services and youth outreach initiatives. Educational events include the annual Rendezvous, Outdoor University, and the Capitol Summit. Outdoor Industry Association is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is the title sponsor of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshows. For more information go to http://www.outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.