Industry News 4/10/2014

B$Z: Snow Sports Retail Market Sales Up in All U.S. Regions Through February

Snow Sports Retail Market Sales Up in All U.S. Regions Through February
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.

Press Release from SIA

Washington, DC (April 10, 2014) -- 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 February 2014, total market projections are based on data collected from the Point of Sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers.

The snow sports retail market finished February up 5 percent in units sold and up 7 percent in dollars sold to $3.3B for all equipment, apparel and accessories. Snow sports retailers brought in $218M more dollars through February this season compared to August to February 2012/2013 despite weather conditions that disrupted snow sports retail markets.

Leaner inventory levels are another key factor at work in the snow sports market this season. Equipment inventories are 21 percent lower through February and apparel inventories are 11 percent leaner.

“Scarcity is healthy for the market. Scarcity results in higher margins and diminishes the need for discounting in the middle of the season putting more money into retailers pockets and increasing open-to-buy budgets,” said Kelly Davis, SIA director of research. 

Average retail prices are 1 percent higher in equipment, 6 percent higher in apparel, and 6 percent higher for accessories through February. Margins are up 3 percent in equipment, up 4 percent in apparel, and up 4 percent in accessories. This bodes well for wholesale orders for the 2014/2015 season.

Overall Snow Sports Market Sales through All Channels August through February 28, 2014

  • Equipment Sales: $782M, up 3 percent  in dollars sold and up 2 percent  in units sold
  • Apparel Sales: $1.3B, up 4 percent  in dollars sold and down 1 percent  in units sold
  • Accessories Sales: $1.15B, up 14 percent  in dollars sold and up 8 percent  in units sold

Snow Sports Market by Channel August through February 28, 2014

  • Specialty: Up 8 percent  in units sold and up 8 percent  in dollars sold to $1.8B
  • Chain: Up 4 percent  in units sold and up 4 percent  in dollars sold to $723M
  • Internet: Down 1 percent  in units sold and up 8 percent  in dollars sold to $794M

Regional Specialty Sales
There was growth across all regions through February, with accessories leading the charge. Big sellers in the south included helmets, goggles, handwear and socks; while backcountry accessories led the growth in the West. Northeasterners needed to stay warm with handwear, socks and hand warmers and in the Midwest, snowshoes, handwear and footwear were highest in demand.

Snow sports participants found time to hit the trails in Februrary and as a result, Nordic equipment also had noticeable sales increases in the West (up 38 percent  units), Midwest (up 39 percent  units) and South (up 95 percent  units).

Apparel on the other hand didn’t have the significant increases that the accessories and equipment markets had, finishing the month down 1 percent  in units and up 4 percent  in dollars. However, some regions saw slight growth, including snowboard apparel in the West (up 6 percent  units), alpine apparel in the Northeast (up 5 percent  units) and alpine apparel in the South (up 5 percent  units).

Notable Trends

  • Alpine Touring/Randonee equipment continues to enjoy significant increases in sales. Through February AT equipment sales increased 9 percent in dollars sold and 9 percent in units sold. AT boot sales are up 2 percent in units sold and 9 percent in dollars sold, and AT binding sales are up 14 percent in units sold to 22,230 units, and up 11 percent in dollars sold to over $8 million through February.
  • Sales are up again in alpine/AT hybrid boots defined as alpine DIN boots with a walk/ski mode that can be converted (but many consumers never do convert them) to an AT/Touring sole for backcountry. These boots are categorized separately from boots sold in the AT category; AT boots that are sold with backcountry blocks and are used most often in backcountry terrain are categorized separately from alpine equipment. Sales of alpine/AT boots are up 25 percent in units sold to 82,000 units sold, and up 21 percent in dollars sold to $32M. Alpine/AT boots make up nearly 17 percent  of dollars sold and 11 percent  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 36 percent in units sold and 34 percent in dollars sold to $6 million through February. Overall, sales of cross country equipment were up 17 percent in units and 14 percent in dollars.
  • More girls are getting snowboard equipment this year. Junior girls snowboarding equipment sales grew 31 percent in units sold and dollars sold through February. Overall, snowboard equipment sales are flat in dollars sold to $217 million.
  • Backcountry accessories sales including beacons, probes and shovels increased 12 percent in dollars sold and 10 percent in units sold through February. Skins are the biggest seller in the category, up 7 percent in dollars and up 3 percent in units to nearly 23,000 sold through February.
  • Sales of protective gear including pads, wrist guards, and general impact gear increased 15 percent in units sold and 23 percent in dollars sold to $3.8 million through February.
  • Action cameras may be the single most popular accessory in the snow sports market right now. Sales of action cameras were up 12 percent in units sold to 103,500 cameras and up 23 percent in dollars sold to $35 million through February.
  • Alpine insulated parka sales were up 19 percent in dollars sold to $353 million and up 13 percent in units to about 2 million parkas sold between August 1, 2013 and February 28, 2014 in snow sports channels.
  • Sales of selected apparel accessories including mittens and gloves, baselayer, headwear, neck gaiters, and masks increased 10 percent in units sold and 13 percent in dollars sold to $586 million through February.
  • Snowshoe sales are up 12 percent in units sold to 98K units and 14 percent in dollars to over $14 million sold through February. Snowshoe inventory levels are down 33 percent with various popular models becoming difficult to find toward the end of the season.

Conclusion
Sales are healthy through February 2014. The Pacific West had much healthier snowfall in February that brought some relief to retailers in that region, although a full recovery from earlier drought conditions seems unlikely this season. Temperatures in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions were less volatile in February and snow conditions were relatively good. March 31 is the cutoff day for retail sales measurement in snow sports retail and we expect the season to end with $3.6 billion in retail sales, leaner than average end-of-season inventories, and healthy margins throughout the season.

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

About SIA
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2014, SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is a non-profit member-owned trade association with a long history of working to support the snow sports industry. SIA works year-round with North American snow sports suppliers, retailers, reports, reps and service providers to develop products and programs for 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.