The independent surf/skate shops on the same-store ActionWatch Retail Panel reported sales increases over the prior year period for both the accessories and hardgoods categories. However, the overall sales number for all categories tracked was down 2.5% with the deepest decline coming from the footwear category. Sales of apparel and wetsuits were also slightly down.
Sales of watches, sunglasses and socks were all up in May compared to the same month last year with watch sales being particularly strong and showing a 21% year-over-year increase. Skate hardgoods y-o-y sales were essentially flat in May while surf hardgoods sales were slightly down. The overall hardgoods sales comp was actually lifted up by two smaller classifications–wakeboards and protective gear, which were both up at least 25% over last year.
Although sales of sandals were down somewhat compared to last year the big driver of the footwear category's sales decline came from shoes with a y-o-y comp sales decrease of almost 13%. Interestingly, female shoe sales were actually up 20%, but the much-higher-volume male shoes class was down almost 15%.
Hardgoods sales have been up over last year for three months in a row now while accessories have also been up during three of the five months shown below.
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.