Industry News 11/19/2015

B$Z: SIA Releases August – September Snow Sports Data

SnowSports Industries America (SIA), the snow sports industry’s member-owned trade association and The NPD Group – Sports and Leisure Trends™ have released NPD DecisionKey® numbers for August and September 2015. 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 market brought in $425M in August and September, up 3% compared to August and September 2014. Equipment sales increased 10% while outerwear sales remained relatively flat. The gear used by skiers and snowboarders when they are on snow including equipment like skis, boards and boots, baselayer, gloves, and goggles show increases in both dollars sold and units sold.

This sales pattern points to pent up demand for new gear in places like California where drought has hampered skiing and snowboarding for several seasons. The news about El Niño conditions and how much snow normally falls in an El Niño winter seems to have convinced consumers that this will be an epic season and it’s time for new gear, especially in the West region. In fact, sales in specialty shops in the West are up more than 50% so far this season to $84M. Snowboard equipment sales in the West nearly doubled compared to August to September 2014, and alpine equipment sales are up 84% to $25M in the West.

Inventories in snow sports specialty shops are 10% leaner compared to September 30th 2014.  Specifically, specialty retailers are carrying 30% less outerwear, 6% fewer snowboards, 13% fewer AT boots, and 8% fewer alpine skis.  Starting the season leaner generally keeps margins healthy through the holiday buying season and often through January as well. If El Niño conditions do bring epic snow to California and across the country like it did in 2009/2010, consumers may have difficulty finding the gear they want to buy and scarcity may hinder sales as early as mid-December. Consumers who intend to buy may want to start looking now for the equipment they want to start this season with to avoid the ravages of scarcity 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, Downhill Consumer Intelligence Project (DCIP), and other exclusive industry reports, please contact Kelly Davis, SIA’s Director of Research at KDavis@snowsports.orgor visit

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. 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 NPD Group’s proprietary user interface, the DecisionKey® data portal.

The NPD Group’s DecisionKey® 2015/2016 season release schedule:

  1. December 15, 2015: August – October
  2. January 15, 2016: August – November
  3. February 15, 2016: August – December
  4. March 15, 2016: August – January
  5. April 15, 2016: August – February
  6. May 15, 2016: August – March