Retail Snowsports Sales Rose Slightly This Fall

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SAM Magazine—Washington, D.C., Dec. 11, 2013—Snow sports retailers sold $624 million in apparel, accessories and equipment from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31, a three percent increase from the prior year, according to the Snowsports Industry America (SIA) RetailTRAK survey of more than 1,200 snowsports retailers.

Good snow conditions in late November and December are expected to have a positive impact on the snowsports market during the holiday buying season. Typically, about 35 percent of total season sales are made between Black Friday and December 31.

For the August through October period, sales were up fairly evenly across the major equipment categories: one percent in equipment, two percent in apparel, and six percent in accessories. But a large increase in AT and randonee gear shows continuing interest in backcountry skiing.

Notable Trends

• Snowboard sales inched up one percent in units sold, the strongest start for snowboards in three seasons.

• Alpine touring/randonee equipment sales increased 26 percent.

• Backcountry accessories sales, including beacons, probes and shovels, increased 46 percent.

• Cross country ski sales increased 13 percent and cross country boot sales 16 percent. Cross country sales suffered significantly with below average snow and late snow the past two seasons.

• Alpine binding sales were up 15 percent, mostly due to sales of high performance bindings.

Based on sales through October and the generally good snow conditions from mid-November on, SIA projects total 2013-14 season sales will reach more than $3.5 billion for alpine, snowboarding, cross country, Telemark, alpine touring, and snowshoeing.