January marks the fifth consecutive month in which the ActionWatch same-store panel achieved a year-over-year sales increase, and January saw the largest increase of that period so far. Sales for all product categories tracked were up 9.3% compared to January last year. The only major category that experienced a sales decline in the month was male-gender footwear which was down 3.8%. Ladies' apparel—another category that struggled in 2010—showed a sales increase of 8% in January while men's and boys' apparel sales were up almost 10%.
Accessories had the largest year-over-year sales gain in January with an 18.6% increase. Nearly all accessory classes showed double-digit sales increases but the socks class was up the most with a 94% sales jump. Hardgood sales were up almost 8% with skate hardgoods having the most influence on the increase while surf hardgood sales were down low single digits.
Within the footwear category retailers struggled the most with male shoes while sandals performed well for all genders. Female shoes continued to be on fire with sales more than doubling compared to January last year. Most apparel classifications showed sales gains except for polo shirts, denim, dresses and skirts.
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.