Each month of the third quarter provided the average retailer in the ActionWatch Retail Panel with a sales increase while sales for the whole quarter ended up 9.4% higher than the same quarter last year. Footwear and Hardgoods were the leading categories in terms of sales gains with both achieving double-digit increases.
All footwear classes and genders showed sales gains in the third quarter, but women's closed-toe shoes continued to be the standout performer with sales more than doubling compared to the same quarter last year. Male-gender shoes—still a much larger class in terms of revenue—had a sales increase of nearly 5%. Hardgoods for each sport that we track had sales increases in Q3 with all sports except skateboarding showing double-digit gains.
Drilling down into the apparel category shows that t-shirt sales were essentially flat in the third quarter, but men's tank sales soared with a 72% increase over the same quarter last year. Men's pant sales also showed a strong gain while jeans continued to struggle.
Sock sales skyrocketed in Q3 with an increase of nearly 80%. A few other accessory classes also performed well, including hats and watches which both had double-digit increases. Sales of sunglasses and bags also increased slightly during the quarter.
With three positive quarters behind us and only one quarter to go it is looking pretty good for the year of 2011. We'll keep you posted as the numbers come in.