Industry News 5/11/2006

End of Season Retail Audit Reports Healthy Growth in Several Catagories

End of Season Retail Audit Reports Healthy Growth in Several Catagories

Overall sales for the entire winter sport market (including specialty and chain stores), were up 4% in dollars to $2.3 billion for the August 2005 through March 2006 period, compared to $2.2 billion reported last year, according to the SIA Retail Audit.  Unit sales were up 6%.  Sales at specialty ski and snowboard shops were up 4% in dollars compared to last season.  In dollars, that translates to $1.8 billion in sales compared to $1.7 billion for the same period last season.  Unit sales were up from last season 4%. Sales at chain stores were up 6% compared to last season.  In dollars, that translates to $538.8 million in sales compared to $508.1 million for the same period last season.  The SIA Retail Audit tracks and reports sales in all snow sports product categories. This is the sixth and final report that looks at sales through March 31, 2006, the end of the winter season.

Overall apparel sales (including tops, bottoms, suits and snowboard) had a very successful season, up 7% in dollars as compared to last season.  By the end of March 2006, apparel sales totaled $796.2 million.  End of season numbers also indicated that the soft shell phenomenon is here to stay recording an impressive 77% increase in unit sales and 46% increase in dollar sales over last season.
 
Although overall equipment sales were down 1% over last season, the bright spot continues to be integrated ski systems with a 21% increase in unit sales over last season.  Twin-tip skis also showed significant growth with a 70% increase in unit sales.
 
Overall, accessories experienced growth as well over last season with an 8% increases in dollar sales and 6% increases in unit sales.  Both equipment and apparel accessories ended on the plus side with snowshoes notching over 153,000 pairs sold this season.  Seven out of the nine categories in apparel accessories recorded increases in both unit and dollar sales as well.
 
Full retail audit press releases and the Executive Market Summary will be available by Friday for more detailed information.  Log onto thesnowtrade.org for complete press releases and the Executive Market Summary.