SIA further reports that carryover and juniors' equipment sales continued to lead the snow sports hard goods market while sales of this season's alpine ski and snowboard equipment sagged. Cross country ski equipment is a bright spot in the hard goods category with 14% growth season over season. Apparel sales reached $400 million so far this season representing 2% growth over August through November sales in 2007. Apparel suits, anything fleece, snowboard apparel, hats and gloves flew off the shelves as winter made its presence known across the country. Accessories that anyone on the slopes may need including goggles, helmets and wax got hotter as the temperatures got colder. In fact, all accessories sales increased 7% compared to season to date sales in November 2007.
Sales of carryover gear continued to account for a significant portion of equipment sales in November. Carryover accounted for 30% of skis, 23% of snowboards, 21% of ski boots, and 23% of snowboard boots sold August to November 2008. Compare that to last season's August to November results when carryover sales accounted for just 20% of skis and 21% of snowboards sold and millions fewer dollars spent. However, sales of current year model alpine ski equipment sagged heavily with most ski categories down significantly. In fact, excluding carryover sales, current model alpine ski sales are down about 16%. Ski prices are up across the board but dollar sales of skis (including carryover) are down almost 7% despite the increase. Cross country equipment was a very bright spot in the equipment market in November with sales of nearly $9.5 million from August through November, a 14% increase over last season's August to November sales. Snowboard equipment sales were up 3% overall and were selling particularly well online, where sales have increased 25% compared to August to November sales last season.
Parents didn't slow their spending on equipment and apparel for the kids in November. Overall, junior's equipment sales increased 12%; junior ski sales were up 21% in dollars, junior snowboard sales increased 1% in dollars. Parents were not skimping on apparel for their kids either, junior apparel sales increased 7% and a surprise in the numbers was sales of junior snow suits that increased more than 40% in units and in dollars.
“I bought all the gear, clothing and lessons my daughter needed to start skiing because she's 5 years old and I want her to have the same great experiences on the slopes that I had when I was a kid. I can wait until next year for new skis.” Michelle Mikesell, WISP Resort, Deep Creek, Maryland
Channel $Dollars Units Sold Change in Change in
Sold Dollars Units
All Stores $917,171,594 12,751,954 2.69 % 5.04 %
Alpine Equipment $155,512,947 749,349 -2.66 % -2.95 %
Nordic Equipment $9,457,731 102,853 13.93 % 5.93 %
Snowboard Equipment $99,511,754 597,115 3.01 % 2.29 %
Apparel $400,681,042 3,721,351 1.81 % 5.77 %
Accessories $246,573,505 7,566,075 7.23 % 5.77 %
Specialty Shops $558,738,692 7,049,096 1.08 % 1.20 %
Alpine Equipment $122,268,312 559,973 -.06 % 0.79 %
Nordic Equipment $6,793,831 72,215 11.67 % 8.84 %
Snowboard Equipment $67,024,446 381,114 5.77 % 4.21 %
Apparel $215,054,393 1,757,854 -1.94 % -0.87 %
Accessories $145,684,657 4,272,491 4.10 % 1.75 %
Chain Stores $156,285,816 3,065,607 -2.95 % 1.00 %
Alpine Equipment $13,217,702 92,870 -23.89 % -24.30 %
Nordic Equipment $1,020,226 13,957 15.13 % 3.28 %
Snowboard Equipment $15,107,709 119,699 -21.59 % -17.31 %
Apparel $78,005,693 948,353 2.68 % 1.68 %
Accessories $48,435,566 1,889,431 2.85 % 3.81 %
Internet/Online Sales $202,147,085 2,637,252 12.70 % 23.27 %
Alpine Equipment $20,026,933 96,506 -0.15 % -2.78 %
Nordic Equipment $1,643,673 16,681 23.44 % -3.19 %
Snowboard Equipment $17,379,599 96,302 24.46 % 31.36 %
Apparel $107,620,955 1,015,144 9.48 % 24.98 %
Accessories $52,453,283 1,404,153 22.24 % 23.82 %
Source: SIA Retail Audit 2008.09 August to November Sales
The Internet channel slowed the pace of growth in November gaining 13% in dollars and 23% in units compared to August to November 2007. Overall, consumers spent $202 million on snow sports equipment, apparel, and accessories online. Internet sales comprised 22% of all the dollars consumers spent on snow sports products in the U.S. between August 1 and November 30, 2008.
Specialty shops were responsible for $559 million of the $917 million in total sales (includes specialty shops, chain stores, and online sales) for the snow sports marketplace August through November 2008. Specialty store sales increased slightly season over season in November. Consumers still prefer to buy their equipment in specialty shops. In fact, 79% of alpine equipment, 72% of Nordic gear and 67% of all snowboard equipment was sold in specialty shops so far this season.
Chain stores' equipment sales continue to sink with total decreases of 21% in dollars and 19% in units. Alpine ski sales are down 24% and snowboard equipment sales decreased 22%. Chain stores equipment sales accounted for just 11% of all equipment sales in the U.S. snow sports marketplace from August to November. Apparel sales made up half of all chain store snow sports sales August through November 2008.