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SAM Magazine—Boulder, Colo., July 17, 2012—In a sign that sports consumers are investing in their favorite activities (when the weather cooperates), May retail sales at outdoor retailers and sporting goods chains were up from year-ago totals, according to the Leisure Trends Group.

Outdoor and sporting goods sales got a solid boost from the weather. The spring of 2012 consisted of the warmest March, third warmest April and second warmest May on record.

May's continued warmer-than-average weather pushed outdoor sales to $573 million, a 6 percent increase over May 2011. A 2 percent bump in average retail-selling prices built upon a 4 percent increase in units.

In the broader sporting goods market, sporting goods chain store sales increased 12 percent in units, 6 percent in average retail-selling price, and 19 percent in dollars in May.

Two categories tracked by Leisure Trends, running and paddle sports, both grew smartly. Paddling, which tends to draw an older audience, saw sales jump 18 percent; running sales were up by 9 percent.