Snow Sports Sales off to a Healthy Start for 2011/2012

SIA & The Leisure Trends Group released the first set of RetailTRAK™ Data (Aug–Oct) for the 2011/2012 snow sports season. The data reveals that snow sports retail sales are off to a strong start with equipment leading the charge.

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and The Leisure Trends Group have released the first set of RetailTRAK™ Data (Aug – Oct 2011) for the 2011/2012 snow sports season. The data reveals that snow sports retail sales are off to a strong start this season and equipment is leading the charge.

Overall, snow sports retail receipts are up 14% in dollars sold and 7% in units sold August – October (pre-season) 2011. Total snow sports pre-season sales increased from $565M through October 2010 to $644M through Oct 2011.

“We entered this season with inventories full of 2011/2012 gear after last season's epic conditions that kept participants on the slopes and in the shops well into spring. Consumers began this season with uninterrupted enthusiasm for the coming La Niña repeat and it is definitely showing up in equipment sales.” commented Kelly Davis, SIA's Director of Research.

Pre-season sales in the snow sports market traditionally serve as opportunities for consumers to get discounts on items left in inventories over the summer, but this year consumers were buying snow sports gear at full price at the Labor Day and Columbus Day sales. This phenomenon is most apparent in alpine equipment where buxom sales led the pre-season market. Apparel and accessories sales also gained over last season and strong prices seen at the end of the 2010/2011 season continued into the early 2011/2012 season.

Trends to watch in 2011/2012
• Reverse and mixed camber ski sales doubled compared to pre-season sales a year ago to 32,000 pairs.
• The fatter, the better – flat skis with waist widths 95mm-110mm are up 60% in units sold to more than 20,000 units in the first months of 2011/2012.
• Rocker/Reverse camber snowboard sales continue to rise; now 70% of all boards sold are rocker.
• Bargain hunters will notice that snowboard apparel average prices are down 4% from August – October 2010.
• Helmets sales continue to grow, unit sales are up 12.5% so far this season.
• Sales of beacons, probes and shovels, necessities for the backcountry experience, are up 19% in units sold.

Consumers are looking for snow sports gear in every sales channel and all three retail channels measured experienced growth in the early season. Online sales are up 12% in units sold and 19% in dollars, while chain store sales are up 10% in units and 10% dollars sold. However, specialty retail continues to dominate the snow sports market with 70% of all retail equipment sales and almost 50% of all retail sales overall. Specialty shop sales reached $319M, a new record for the August to October time frame; up 12% in dollars sold, driven by big gains in equipment sales. Equipment sales in specialty shops increased 12% in units sold and 19% in dollars sold. Chain stores sell about 25% of all snow sports apparel and accessories but just 6% of all equipment. It's very clear that core snow sports participants, particularly those that purchase equipment enjoy the distinctive expertise that snow sports specialty shops offer to savvy consumers.

The market data presented in this report comes from the Snow Sports RetailTRAKâ„¢ produced for SIA by the Leisure Trends Group. The Leisure Trends Group gathers RetailTRAKâ„¢ data directly from the Point of Sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers. For more information about snow sports retail sales information and other SIA Research products including the Snow Sports Participation Study, Revisiting Growing the Snow Sports Industry, the Snow Sports Uniform Purchasing Study, the Snow Sports Rental Equipment Survey and much more, please contact Kelly Davis, SIA's Director of Research at

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 Leisure Trends Cross-Industry RetailTRAKâ„¢ data portal. Non-SIA members may subscribe to the topline portal for just $375 per year. To sign up for topline data click HERE.

- SIA -

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is the national not-for-profit, North American member-owned, trade association representing suppliers and service providers of snow sports products with constituents in the retailer, rep and resort communities. Established in 1954, SIA annually produces the SIA Snow Show, the largest snow sports industry trade show, on-snow demo and networking environment globally, while delivering invaluable data/research reports including the Snow Sports Market Intelligence Report, SnowSports RetailTRAKTM and Executive Market Summary. SIA helps grow the industry with consumer initiatives and websites, and, marketing products, services and programs helping our Members operate more efficiently, bring their products to market and increase participation in snow sports. For more information, check out SnowSports Industries America, 8377-B Greensboro Drive, McLean, VA 22102-3587 (Washington, DC area). Phone: 703.556.9020, Fax: 703.821.8276, Email: