Snow Sport Retail Sales Rose Sharply in November

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SAM Magazine—Washington, D.C., Jan. 9, 2014—Snow sports retail sales soared 14 percent in November from year-ago levels as the season began in earnest, the latest data from the SIA RetailTRAK show. The survey is based on point-of-sale data from more than 1,200 snow sports retailers.

For the year through November, sales totaled $1.2 billion, up about 7.4 percent from the same period in 2012. Equipment and apparel sales both rose 6 percent, while accessories were up 13 percent.

This is a welcome turnaround after two seasons of sparse snow and warmer than average temperatures in November. Colder temperatures, snow and an opportunity to enjoy skiing and snowboarding early combined to drive the snow sports market in a decisively positive direction.

Notable August-November Trends
• Alpine Touring/Randonee equipment sales increased 34 percent.

• Women’s-specific cross country equipment sales increased 17 percent (and 29 percent in units).

• Junior snowboarding equipment crept up 1 percent.

• Backcountry accessories sales, including beacons, probes and shovels, increased 29 percent. Beacons led the way with a 36 percent increase as more than 8,000 units sold through November.

• Sales of protective gear, including pads, wrist guards and general impact gear, increased 39 percent.

• Action cameras may be the single most popular accessory, and rose 64 percent, to $14 million (and 32 percent in units, to 44,000).

Sales for December are expected to be strong, as promising snow conditions in the critical weeks late of November and December bode well for the market. Snow accounts for about three-fourths of the variance in sales from one season to the next. SIA projects that snow sports consumers will spend more than $3.5 billion this season on equipment, apparel and accessories.