After my post on SIMA's 2008 retail study Thursday, I got curious about the percentage changes quarter over quarter it implied. The Media Highlights gave me total core sales for the year and the percentage of sales in each quarter. SIMA gave me the same information for 2006. The rest of the calculations are mine and I used them to create the table below. The numbers don't exactly add because of rounding, but that doesn't really matter.
Fourth quarter skate/surf core sales were 17.5% lower in 2008 than in 2006. We don't have 2007 numbers because SIMA only does the survey every other year, but I'm guessing the 2007/2008 comparison would look worse. SIMA has now told me that this information is in their full report, but I don't have that and I'm guessing a lot of you don't either.
I don't think that number will surprise anybody who's actually running a business, and I don't believe it's worse than other consumer related businesses. I look forward to improvement from this point on.
Jeff Harbaugh is a consultant for the action sports industry and works with companies to identify and focus on critical business issues and opportunities fundamental to the bottom line. For more information, visit www.jeffharbaugh.com.