November's comparable year-over-year sales in the ActionWatch core shops continued October's double-digit negatives. As I stated last month, this is unfortunately again a decline on top of last year's decline, pushing retailers into sales levels that are dramatically lower than two years ago.
Like in the previous month, hardgoods again gave the best year-over-year sales performance at the category level with comp sales down 2.5% in November. This relatively good number was driven mostly by a year-over-year sales increase for surf hardgoods, which saw gains in many of its classes and SUP boards selling particularly well. Wetsuits, the smallest and most volatile major category we track, also had a fairly good month with sales down only in the low single digits. There were a few classes in apparel that had sales gains over last year, including woven shirts, board shorts and skirts.
November's comp sales for the ActionWatch Retail Panel continued the previous month's decline in the mid teens.
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.