Outdoor Product sales were up slightly in November as a tepid Outdoor Apparel business and a declining Footwear segment offset strong gains in the Outdoor Hardgoods fueled by Superstorm Sandy.
“Winter weather remained elusive in much of the country in November, but Sandy had a clear impact on the non-winter sports business in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions,” said James Hartford, CEO and chief market analyst at The SportsOneSource Group, which manages the OIA VantagePoint platform. “Near-term forecasts point to some good winter weather in the East before Christmas, a stimulus the market needs for a strong finish to the year.”
Overall Outdoor Product sales were up just 0.6 percent to $1.01 billion in the fiscal month ended Nov. 24, 2012. The market posted only one positive week of sales growth in the four-week month as heavy Footwear declines in the first half of the month offset positive Hardgoods and Apparel sales growth. Outdoor Product sales were down 0.7 percent the week of Thanksgiving, which includes most of the Black Friday weekend.
In the specialty strata, November Outdoor Product sales turned slightly positive after two months of declines – due entirely to weaker Outdoor Footwear product sales – growing just 0.9 percent to $402.5 million. The Specialty Retailer strata combines the Independent Outdoor Specialty, Chain Specialty, Specialty Internet and Other Specialty channels.
The Outdoor Footwear business had another tough month in November as two consecutive years of declines in Winter Boots were exacerbated this year by sharp declines in the Barefoot Footwear segment. Sales fell 12.0 percent to $244.8 million in the four-week month.
Outdoor Apparel posted another positive month in fiscal November, albeit at a sluggish pace. Sales grew 2.1 percent to $448.5 million as Insulated Jackets and Sportswear got an early holiday season lift.
Outdoor Hardgoods continued its strong performance with all major categories (except Snow Sports) continuing a rapid growth pace versus last year. Hardgoods grew 10.3 percent to $318.5 million for the period, and some key categories were up as much as 150 percent in the first week of the month, when Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
“Independent Outdoor Specialty retailers are expected to maintain a stronger growth trend than the overall market. The consumer in that channel reacts much faster to conditions that signal an opportunity to engage in outdoor pursuits,” said David Mudd, business intelligence manger at Outdoor Industry Association®. “The general populace may pull out a jacket or boots from last year, while the specialty consumer is more likely seek the next great product or technology.”
OIA VantagePoint is the first and only full market point-of-sale data platform built specifically for the outdoor industry. OIA VantagePoint monthly trend reports, published by the 15th of every month, provide the broadest and most timely view of outdoor product sales available.
Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services. For more information, go to outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.
The SportsOneSource Group
The SportsOneSource Group is a full service market research company delivering solutions through consumer insight research, retail insight research and retail point-of-sale trending and analysis. The company provides the most reliable, timely and comprehensive sports and outdoor industry information available in the market today. SportScanInfo, developed by SportsOneSource, is a technology platform that compiles and disseminates aggregated retail point-of-sale information. SportsOneSource also publishes the Sports Executive Weekly and The B.O.S.S. Report executive newsletters, along with the SGB and SGB Performance print publications and their related online, email and digital products. For more information about The SportsOneSource Group call 303.987.3450 or go to SportsOneSource.com.