Outdoor Industry Association released the semi-annual Topline Retail Sales report, which focuses on point of sale data for five outdoor product categories: Equipment, Equipment Accessories, Apparel, Footwear, and Paddle. The report covers the spring/ summer season, February through July 2005, through the Outdoor Specialty, Outdoor Chain, and Outdoor Internet/ Catalog channels.

According to OIA’s report, sales in the Outdoor Specialty and Outdoor Chain channels increased 3.5% during the spring / summer season compared to the same period in 2004. The majority of growth was driven by increased sales in the apparel category (up 3.1% in Outdoor Specialty and 16% in Outdoor Chain) and footwear categories (up 16.5% in Outdoor Specialty and 6.7% in Outdoor Chain). At the same time, equipment sales fell 12.3% in Outdoor Specialty stores and 7% in Outdoor Chain stores.

“These numbers reflect trends that we are seeing across the industry,” notes Frank Hugelmeyer, President of Outdoor Industry Association. “Apparel and footwear continue to drive growth as more and more Americans are attracted to the active outdoor lifestyle. While were seeing positive signs at retail, the increased competitive landscape continues to place margin pressures on all channels.”

12 Month Sales Overview

      Total Outdoor Specialty & Outdoor Chain Channel Sales:

Aug ‘04-July 2005:  $6.1 Billion

Aug ‘03-July 2004:  $5.78 Billion

12 Month Increase:  6.7%

      Estimated Outdoor "Total Industry" Sales:  

Aug ‘04-July 2005: $13 Billion1

Aug ‘03-July 2004: $12.7 Billion

12 Month Increase: 2.5%

      Outdoor "Total Industry" Sales Channels1:

POS Information

Outdoor Specialty, Outdoor Chain         
Stores & Outdoor Internet /Catalog
Consumer Research Estimates              $ 6.7 Billion

General/Mass Merchants                   $ 2.6 Billion

Department Stores                        $ 2.0 Billion

Internet/Catalog                         $ 1.7 Billion

Total                                    $13.0 Billion                                         

1 “Total Industry” = combination of Point of Sale (POS) and consumer research estimates of total sales for Equipment (i.e. tents, packs, sleeping bags), Equipment Accessories(i.e. food, first aid kits, stoves), Apparel (i.e. outerwear, baselayers), Footwear (boots, sandals, casual), and Paddle (boats, paddles). This report is not a representation of the ski, bike, or fly-fishing industry sales.

Outdoor “Total Industry” estimated sales totals are based on a 12-month rolling period from August 2003 – July 2004 for POS data and a 12-month survey in July 2004 and September 2004 for Consumer Research.

    Spring / Summer Season Highlights:

  • Outdoor Specialty sales were up 1% for the spring/ summer season (Feb. – July ’05) vs. ‘04.
  • Outdoor Chain sales grew 4% in the spring/ summer season (Feb. – July ’05) vs. ‘04.


  • Apparel sales total $1.1 billion on 37.2 million units, representing 34.7% of all revenue and 32% of all unit sales.
  • Apparel sales rise 16% in Outdoor Chain stores but only 4.2% in units. Outdoor Specialty store apparel sales grow 3% in dollars and units.
  • Women generate 33%, or $362 million, of the total $1.1 billion apparel sales. Women’s apparel sales boomed by 29% in Outdoor Chain stores but only by 2% in Outdoor Specialty stores.


  • Footwear constitutes 18.8% of revenues and 10% of units – $599 million against 11 million pairs.
  • Outdoor Specialty store footwear sales rise 16.5% in revenue and 25.4% in units. In Outdoor Chain stores, sales are up 6.7% in revenue and 6.2% in units.
  • Women’s footwear increases by 12% in Outdoor Chain stores, and is driven by growth in trail running, multi-sport, casual shoes, and leather sandals.


  • Equipment contributes 13.2% of sales, at $420 million. Fourteen million units represent 12% of overall unit sales.
  • Equipment sales decline in both Outdoor Specialty stores (down 12% in revenue and 20% in units) and Outdoor Chain stores (down 7% in revenue and 12% in units).
  • The newly tracked Outdoor Internet/Catalog channel generates 17.7% of equipment revenue on 12% of units.

    Equipment Accessories

  • Equipment accessory sales represent 25.6% of revenues, with $815 million in sales. Equipment accessories’ 50.8 million units represent 44% of all unit sales.
  • Equipment accessory revenue falls 4% in Outdoor Chain stores and 1.6% in Outdoor Specialty stores. Unit sales continue to decline but the average retail selling price in accessories has increased enough to offset dollar losses.
  • Categories performing well in both the Outdoor Chain and Outdoor Specialty channels include luggage & duffels, sunglasses and sport racks.


  • Paddle sales, at $243 million, represent 8% of revenues. Unit sales are 2.8 million, or 2% of all unit sales.
  • Outdoor Specialty stores capture 80% of paddle revenue and 75% of units.

Outdoor Specialty store paddle revenue slipped 2%, and units dropped 14%. Outdoor Chain stores picked up 4.7% in revenue and 10% in units.