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SAM Magazine—McLean, Va., Jan. 10, 2013—November 2012 was another difficult month for snow sports retailers, with double-digit declines in dollars sold compared to sales in November 2011, according to the SIA RetailTRAK. Specialty-store sales in the Midwest declined the least, about 9 percent; in the West, sales were off 27 percent from November 2011’s record sales level.
Season-to-date sales in all stores are less dire, with declines of 8 percent in units and 7 percent in dollars.
And there is hope on the horizon, as snowfall in December could provide a needed boost in the market. Retail sales in the snow sports market from late November to the end of the winter season typically depend upon current snow conditions, and this year is shaping up to be stronger than last.

The snow sports market had an uphill battle to fight in the pre-season. August to November sales are predicated on variables like snowfall in the previous season and consumer confidence in general. This season, all of the variables were working against the snow sports market: inertia from last season, recovery from Superstorm Sandy, and uncertainty over tax increases and government spending cuts.

SIA RetailTRAK data are collected from point of sale systems at more than 1,200 snow sports retailers nationwide.