January Snow Sports Retail Reflects Weather

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SAM Magazine—Washington, D.C., March 10, 2014—The snow sports retail market finished January up 4 percent in units sold and up 7 percent in dollars, reaching $2.8 billion for the season to date (August through January), according to the SIA RetailTRAK. The report is prepared by Leisure Trends for SnowSports Industries America (SIA). Total market projections are based on point of sale data collected from more than 1,200 snow sports retailers.

Drought conditions in the Pacific West and repeated cold snaps in the Northeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and South had both positive and negative impacts. Compared to January 2013, sales in January 2014 were down 7 percent in equipment, and down 12 percent in apparel. But accessories sales—including hats, gloves, and base layers—rose 10 percent.

“When the temperatures dip well below normal, consumers who will never see a slope or a trail may head to snow sports retailers for gloves, hats, and apparel tops that will help them weather abnormally frigid temperatures,” said Kelly Davis, SIA director of research.

For the season overall, equipment sales hit $670 million, up 4 percent. Apparel sales totaled $1.2 billion, up 3 percent, and accessories sales reached $952 million, a 14 percent rise.

Noteworthy year-to-date trends:

• Alpine Touring/Randonee equipment remains a hot category, with sales up 11 percent.

• Women’s-specific cross country equipment sales rose 32 percent. Sales of all cross country equipment were up 13 percent.

• More girls have bought snowboard equipment this year. Junior girls snowboarding sales grew 22 percent. Overall, snowboard equipment sales are flat.

• Backcountry accessories sales, including beacons, probes and shovels, increased 17 percent.

• Sales of protective gear, including pads, wrist guards, and general impact gear increased 27 percent.

• Sales of action cameras were up 27 percent, totaling $31 million. “Action cameras may be the single most popular accessory in the snow sports market right now,” Davis said.

• Alpine insulated parka sales jumped 19 percent.