Overall sales for the entire winter sport market, including specialty and chain stores, were up 9% in dollars to $1.8 billion for the August 2005 through January 2006 period, compared to $1.7 billion reported last year, according to the SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Retail Audit. Unit sales were up 8%.
Sales at chain stores were up 10% compared to last season. In dollars, that translates to $421.0 million in sales compared to $383.5 million for the same period last season. Unit sales were up from last season 12%. “With consumer confidence at its highest level in more than three years, consumers headed to chain stores to purchase snowboard equipment, integrated systems and accessories. Even after slowing down in January, total season-to-date apparel sales also remained strong,” 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 fourth 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 an 11% dollar increase and season-to-date sales reaching $168.6 million. Apparel top sales spiked 16% in dollars this season over last.
Insulated parkas (up 17%), softshell parkas (up 91%), shell parkas (up 16%), fleece – includes vests (up 26%) and vests – no fleece (up 73%) all experienced dollar increases as compared to last season. Womens insulated parkas shot up 27% in dollars and finished January with 6,000 more units sold than mens insulated parkas — which also grew a solid 15% in dollars. Womens shells, 34% of all shell units sold this season, jumped 27% in dollars.
Apparel suits and insulated waist pants (21% of all bottom dollars sold through January) are also drawing increased interest with dollar gains of 13% and 31%, respectively. Shell waist pants, the largest category with 30% of all bottom dollars sold, increased 5% in dollars.
As in the specialty stores, junior apparel is showing improvement in chain stores this season over last. Sales of junior softshell parkas, junior shell parkas, junior suits and junior bottoms all experienced dollar increases as compared to the August through January period last season.
Snowboard tops climbed 3% in dollars with sales totaling $15.6 million. As a percentage of units sold season-to-date, womens snowboard tops accounted for 42%, mens 41% and juniors 17%. Junior tops managed to gain 1% in dollars. Snowboard bottoms showed a slight 3% decline as compared to last August through January. Womens bottoms, with 65,000 units sold (just barely above mens sales) jumped 18% in dollars.
The entire accessories category grew a considerable 14% this season over last. Apparel accessories brought in $85.0 million in sales thus far this season, a 15% increase over last season. Winter boots (up 16%), gloves (up 8%), mitts (up 4%), base layer (up 12%) and headwear (up 6%), specifically, saw category dollar inclines. Equipment accessories brought in $47.3 million in sales so far this season, a 12% increase over last season. Goggles (up 17%), sunglasses (up 18%), auto racks (up 15%), technical day packs (up 7%), luggage (up 13%), wax (up 27%) and snowboard accessories (up 13%) managed to have dollar boosts.
Through January, snowboard equipment (including snowboards, boots and bindings) sales totaled $63.3 million, a 13% increase over the same period last season and $10 million more than alpine equipment sales this season-to-date.
Snowboard sales gained 10% over last season. All mountain boards were flat in dollars while freestyle boards (24% of all board dollars sold this season) jumped 30% in dollars. Freeride boards, the largest category with 35% of all units sold this season, managed a 20% gain in dollars this season over last.
Sales of snowboard boots grew 13% with sales reaching $21.1 million through the end of January. Snowboard bindings managed a 20% dollar increase and sales of $15.7 million. Carryover binding sales, up 17% in dollars, accounted for 20% of all binding units sold.
Retailers did not have a lot of snowboard equipment left over to sell this season as carryover snowboard and boot sales each declined 18% and 8%, respectively, in dollars. So far this season, carryover snowboards accounted for 27% of all snowboard units sold, down from 33% for the same period in 2005.
Overall equipment sales (alpine, snowboard, Nordic, Telemark and Randonee/AT) were up 4% in dollars as compared to last season with season-to-date sales totaling $120.2 million. Alpine equipment sales (including skis, systems, boots, bindings and poles) were up 1% in dollars as compared to last season ending January with $53.0 million in sales.
Integrated system sales continue to grow in the chain stores totaling $10.9 million through the end of January, an increase of 14% in dollars when comparing this August to January period to the same period a year ago.
Add alpine skis to integrated systems and total ski sales increased 4% in dollars. Alpine skis, excluding integrated systems, decreased 4% in dollars, with a total of $12.6 million in sales. Fat skis (up 9%), twintip skis (up 128%) and carve skis (up 12%) each saw dollar increases as compared to the same period last season.
Through January, all carryover ski sales increased 26% in dollars and accounted for 41% of all ski units sold. Compare that to the same period in 2005 where all carryover skis accounted for 30% of all units sold.
From August January of this season, alpine boots decreased 5% in dollars with a total of $20.5 million in sales. Junior boots are showing sales growth over last season, up 71%. In this August -January period, carryover boots accounted for 29% of all boot units sold, up from 18% at this time last season.
Stand-alone binding sales are also down (4%) in dollars over last season, with season-to-date sales reaching $5.6 million. DIN 1-7 (down 66%), DIN 8-11 (down 2%), DIN 12-14 (down 2%) and juniors (down 32%) showed dollar decreases this season over last.
Unlike the other alpine categories, alpine pole sales jumped 28% over the same period last season, reaching $3.4 million in season-to-date sales. Adult pole (up 38%) sales contributed to the category performance.
SALES OF TELEMARK SKI EQUIPMENT SHOW PROMISE
Nordic ski equipment sales (including skis, boots, bindings and poles) dropped considerably this season over last, down 48% in dollars and totaling $2.7 million in sales. Nordic skis (down 50%), boots (down 48%) bindings (down 49%) and poles (down 41%) all experienced losses in dollar sales over last season.
Telemark ski equipment (including skis, boots and bindings) dollars were up 8% ending January with $999,000 in sales. Telemark skis managed a 12% boost in dollar sales this season over last.