SIA Releases August-December RetailTRAK™ Data Snow Sports Market Hits New Sales Record

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SnowSports Industries America (SIA), the snow sports industry’s member-owned trade association,and Leisure Trends, an NPD Group Company have released SIA RetailTRAK™ numbers for August through December 2013, total market projections are based on data collected from the Point of Sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers.

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The snow sports retail market had a record holiday selling season, but severe drought in the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges tempered the celebration. Sales reached a new record $2.2 billion season to date (August to December), $193 million more than was spent at retail through December last season and $26.5 million 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.

Overall Snow Sports Market Sales through All Channels August through December 31, 2013

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

Notable Trends

  • Alpine Touring/Randonee 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 $20 million. 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 $4 million through December. Overall, sales of cross country equipment were up 16% in dollars sold this season.
  • 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 $167 million.
  • 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 $27 million through December.
  • Alpine insulated tops sales were up 20% in dollars sold to $362 million and up 15% in units to more than 2 million 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

So far, snow sports sales for 2013/2014 are very healthy but drought conditions in the Pacific West, particularly California, are a concern this season. Beyond snow sports concerns, 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 19 million participants in skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, telemark and alpine touring. This season, we project that consumers will spend more than $3.5M this season on equipment, apparel and accessories in the snow sports market.

For more information about snow sports retail sales, market data and other SIA Research products including the Snow Sports Market Intelligence Report, SIA State of the Industry Videos, Snow Sports Participation Study and other exclusive industry reports, please contact Kelly Davis, SIA’s Director of Research at KDavis@snowsports.org or visit snowsports.org/research.

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

 - SIA - SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is a non-profit member-owned trade association that works year-round with North American snow sports suppliers, retailers, reports, reps and service providers to develop products and programs that support their individual and collective business needs. With member support and industry participation, SIA annually hosts the industry’s largest core winter sports trade show, the SIA Snow Show, along with the On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest and the Sourcing Snow supplier show. SIA also helps retailers and resorts connect with snow sports participants around the country through Snowlink.com. Learn more at Snowsports.org.

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