Reported by Cary Allington, ActionWatch
Sales in the core shops on the ActionWatch retail panel were up 9% for the 10-month period of January through October 2011 compared to the same time period last year. October sales were up by 6% compared to October last year and therefore slightly under the YTD average, but still in solid positive territory.
Each major category produced a sales increase in October. Female footwear growth took top honors with a gain of 52% while male-gender footwear was essentially flat. The difference was even more extreme when drilling down to just closed-toe shoes where the female gender was up over 100% and male shoe sales growth was slightly negative.
Fleece and jacket sales growth was strong in October for both male and female genders. However, while sweater sales were strong on the girls' side of the store, men's/boys' sweater sales were down double digits. Short-sleeve tee sales were down while long-sleeve tee sales had a strong sales gain in October.
All accessory classes were up except belts and wallets with sales growth of socks especially high. Skate hardgood sales were slightly down while surf hardgood sales were up 18% in October. Wetsuit sales were up strongly in October, but this is the smallest major category and tends to be the most volatile. However, wetsuit sales for the year so far are up over 10%.
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 atwww.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.