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SAM Magazine—Washington, D.C., Apr. 13, 2012—Snow sports retail sales were down 12 percent in units and 4 percent in dollars through the end of February, according to the RetailTRAK, released by SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and The Leisure Trends Group. Sales totaled $3.2 billion.

Sales declined most for accessories, down 15 percent in units, 8 in dollars. Apparel sales held up best, down just 2 percent in units and flat in dollars. Equipment sales slumped 8 percent in units, 3 in dollars. Rentals were down 16 percent in units, and 5 percent in dollars. Geographically, sales have tracked the weather.

By sales channel, specialty store sales dropped 14 percent in units/5 percent in dollars; chain stores were down 18 percent and 12 percent, respectively; and online sales rose 11 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

One positive note: skiers and riders have spent $1 million more this season to service their equipment at retail shops. Other key trends:
  • Reverse/mixed camber skis sales increased 83 percent, and accounted for 25 percent of all alpine skis sold. Last season reverse/mixed camber skis accounted for just 15 percent of ski sales.
  • Reverse camber/rocker snowboard sales continue to rise. Unit sales of rocker boards are up 9 percent, and rocker boards accounted for 73 percent of all snowboards sold.
  • Women's insulated parka sales were up 11 percent in units, 10 percent in dollars, and men's soft-shell top sales climbed 13 percent in units,18 percent in dollars.