Words & Graphs: Cary Allington
Year-over-year sales growth of all product categories tracked by ActionWatch rose back up into the positive range in November. Hardgoods had the highest sales growth at nearly 8%, driven largely by growth in surf hardgoods while skate hardgoods remained in decline.
Apparel sales also grew in November with women’s apparel providing a substantial boost. Women’s sweaters, non-denim pants, shorts, dresses, and skirts each experienced strong sales growth. Accessory sales were up a little in November with positive numbers coming from sunglasses and socks. Watch sales were down, but the most important month for watch sales is December with revenues normally double that of any other month in the year.
Although footwear had a good month in October, we saw sales growth come back down substantially in November, especially on the men’s side where shoes struggled. Women’s shoe sales were slightly positive while sandal sales
were essentially flat. The negative in the overall women’s footwear category was caused by the footwear class we call “Other Footwear,” which is made up mostly of boots and becomes a substantial class in the fourth quarter each year.
With the overall downward sales trend somewhat reversed in November, we’re waiting with great anticipation for sales numbers from the biggest revenue month of the year, with hope that November’s incline will continue into December and bring the fourth quarter into strongly positive growth territory.
November’s overall same-store sales growth came back up into positive territory with only wetsuits and footwear sales in the negative range.
The ActionWatch Retail Panel includes 250 surf/skate independent specialty shops across the U.S. and is growing rapidly as more retailers join the free program. Retailers who participate get free access to a set of 50 reports updated each month. Retailers interested in joining the ActionWatch Retail Panel can get more information at www.ActionWatch.com.
All ActionWatch reports are made from the aggregated data of the participating retailers, which are located throughout the U.S. and vary in size from 750-square-foot shops to stores over 10,000 square feet. Data is collected monthly from electronic reports submitted by participating retailers.