Overall sales for the entire winter sport market, including specialty and chain stores, were up 8% in dollars to $696.9 million for the August through November period of 2005, compared to $647.8 million reported last year, according to the SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Retail Audit. Unit sales were up 8%. Sales at chain stores were up 8% compared to last season. In dollars, that translates to $156.1 million in sales compared to $145.2 million for the same period last season. Unit sales were up from last season 7%.
“Fashion-driven purchases incited the sales of insulated apparel and softshell parkas this period. Fleece and vests are also making a strong comeback in chain stores,” said Christine Martinez, market research manager for SIA, the not-for-profit industry trade group that represents manufacturers and distributors of snow sports products. The SIA Retail Audit tracks and reports sales in all snow sports product categories. This is the second report of six that look at sales through March 31, 2006, the end of the winter season.
Chain store apparel sales continue the season on a positive note with a 14% dollar increase and season-to-date sales reaching $65.9 million. Apparel top sales spiked 20% in dollars this season over last.
Insulated parkas (up 25%), softshell parkas (up 160%), shell parkas (up 6%), fleece – includes vests (up 26%) and vests – no fleece (up 68%) all experienced dollar increases as compared to last season. Womens insulated parkas finished November with 2,000 more units sold than all mens insulated parkas.
Apparel suits and bibs are also drawing increased interest with dollar gains of 22% and 9%, respectively. Shell waist pants, the largest category with 31% of all bottom dollars sold this season, declined 5% in dollars.
As in the specialty stores, junior apparel is showing improvement in chain stores this season over last. Sales of junior insulated parkas, junior softshell parkas, junior suits and junior bottoms (as well as junior snowboard tops and bottoms mentioned below) all experienced dollar increases as compared to the August through November period last season.
Snowboard tops climbed 6% in dollars with sales totaling $5.3 million. Junior tops drove category sales with a 13% dollar increase this season over last. As a percentage of units sold season-to-date, womens snowboard tops accounted for 40%, mens 43% and juniors 17%. Snowboard bottoms declined, down 16% as compared to last August through November. Junior bottoms managed to gain 2% in dollars.
The entire accessories category grew 4% this season over last. Apparel accessories brought in $26.7 million in sales thus far this season, a 5% increase over last season. However, winter boots (down 1%), gloves (down 6%), mitts (down 15%), base layer (down 13%), turtlenecks (down 33%) and neck gaiters (down 9%), specifically, saw category dollar declines. Equipment accessories brought in $16.7 million in sales thus far this season, a 2% increase over last season. Sunglasses (up 9%), technical day packs (up 15%), luggage (up 15%), wax (up 17%) and snowboard accessories (up 3%) managed to have dollar boosts.
By the end of November, snowboard equipment sales were up 8% in dollars as compared to last season with total sales reaching $22.7 million. Snowboard sales gained 9% over last season. All mountain boards grew 4% in dollars while freestyle boards (17% of all units sold this season) jumped 23% in dollars. Freeride boards, the largest category with 36% of all snowboard units sold, managed an 18% gain in dollars this season over last.
Sales of snowboard boots grew 3% with sales reaching $7.1 million through the end of November. Through the end of this period, carryover boots accounted for 14% of all snowboard units sold, down from 28% for the same period last season. Snowboard bindings managed a 10% dollar increase and sales of $5.3 million.
Retailers did not have a lot of snowboard equipment left over to sell this season as carryover snowboard, boot and binding sales each declined 15%, 43% and 38%, respectively, in dollars. Season-to-date, carryover sales accounted for 26% of all snowboard units sold, down from 34% for the same period last season.
Overall equipment sales (alpine, snowboard, Nordic, Telemark and Randonee/AT) were up 3% in dollars as compared to last season with season-to-date sales totaling $46.8 million. Alpine equipment sales (including skis, systems, boots, bindings and poles) were up 2% in dollars as compared to last season ending November with $22.4 million in sales.
Integrated ski system sales continue to grow in the chain stores totaling $4.5 million through the end of November, an increase of 20% in dollars when comparing this August to November period to the same period a year ago. Out of all integrated ski systems sold so far this season, 56% of the units were midfats and 36% were carvers.
Add alpine skis to integrated ski systems and total ski dollar sales jumped 9% this season. Alpine skis, excluding integrated systems, also increased, up 2% in dollars, with a total of $5.9 million in sales. Fat skis (up 25%), twintip skis (up 90%) and carve skis (up 102%) each saw dollar increases as compared to the same period last season.
From August November of this season, alpine boots decreased 8% in dollars with a total of $8.3 million in sales. Junior boots and carryover boots were the only boots to show sales growth over last season, up 36% and 10%, respectively. In this August – November period, carryover boots accounted for 26% of all boot units sold, up from 23% last season at this time.
Stand-alone binding sales fell 3% in dollars over last season, with season-to-date sales reaching $2.5 million. All binding categories, except for DIN 8-11 (up 3%), showed dollar decreases this season over last — DIN 1-7 (down 60%), DIN 12-14 (down 1%), juniors (down 22%) and carryover (down 37%).
Running counter to other alpine categories, alpine pole sales jumped 39% over the same period last season, reaching $1.1 million in season-to-date sales. Adult pole (up 47%) and carryover pole (up 14%) sales contributed to the category performance. Approximately 10,000 more adult poles have been sold when comparing this August-November period to the same period last season.
Nordic ski equipment sales (including skis, boots, bindings and poles) dropped considerably this season over last, down 35% in dollars and totaling $1.2 million in sales. Nordic skis, (down 36%), boots (down 33%) bindings (down 37%) and poles (down 38%) all experienced losses in dollar sales over last season.
Telemark ski equipment (including skis, boots and bindings) dollars were up 2% ending November with $421,000 in sales. Telemark skis managed a 20% boost in dollar sales this season over last.