Season’s Snow Sports Product Sales Close to $3 Billion

sialogo.jpgOFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – MCLEAN, Va. (April 16, 2008) — Snow sports sales surpassed $2.75 billion in February with $768 million in equipment sales, $1.1 billion in apparel sales, and $895 million in accessories sales. While apparel and accessories sales have increased in both units and dollars through all channels this season, equipment sales have remained relatively flat overall.

"Apparel and accessories have sold very well this year in all channels, in fact, apparel and accessories are primarily responsible for the 11% gain in dollars sold across the snow sports market so far this season," said Kelly Davis, Director of Research for SnowSports Industries America (SIA), the not-for-profit industry trade group that represents manufacturers and distributors of snow sports products.

Equipment sales in snow sports specialty shops increased less than 2% in dollars over last season with slight decreases in the number of alpine skis and in the number of snowboards sold. Chain stores sold less equipment than they did in 2005.06, but dollars spent on equipment were up slightly. Although equipment sales on the Internet are quite strong, the channel is still too narrow to make a significant difference overall.

The marketplace is made up of three primary sales channels; the Internet, Specialty shops, and chain stores. Specialty shops sell the largest share of equipment, apparel and accessories but the Internet and chain store channels have a significant share of the market; and the Internet channel grew by close to fifty percent this season.

Specialty Shops

Snow sports consumers have spent more than $1.7 billion dollars in specialty shops so far this season. Apparel sales lead the way with $609 million followed closely by accessories with $579 million in sales. Apparel sales have increased 6% in dollars over the August to February period last season and accessories are up more than 7% in dollars. Curt Geiger, Vice President at Descente reported, "Leisure Trends and Descente/DNA dealers report to us that we performed very well this past season at specialty retail. Most dealers reported that the two brands were nearly completely sold through." "The upper end of Descente/DNA products led the way in consumer demand, he added. Only equipment sales have remained flat this season. This time last season, 436,133 pairs of skis had been sold in specialty shops compared to 429,621 this season. Snowboard sales weren't much brighter in specialty with an overall decrease of about 1% in units so far this season. Nordic propped the equipment category up with increases of 26% in units and more than 28% in dollars.

Chain Stores

Consumers have spent almost $574 million on snow sports equipment, apparel and accessories in chain stores so far this season. Equipment sales in chain stores are down from 2005.06 totals for the August to February time period by 7% in units and 1% in dollars. Equipment declined by 11% in units with integrated ski systems leading the decline with a 40% decrease in unit sales. In fact, of the 645,000 pairs of skis sold across the market, chain stores sold just 18% (117,838). Snowboards were down 13% in units and 6% in dollars since the 05.06 season. On the bright side, apparel is selling well in the chain stores channel; apparel sales have increased 19% in dollars since 2005.06.

Internet

The Internet channel continues to become both wider and deeper with vast increases in sales of equipment, apparel and accessories. Overall, the Internet channel for snow sports goods has increased 42% in units and by 47% in dollars. Clicking consumers have spent $453 million this season online for snow sports goods. Keep in mind that currently, Internet sales account for less than one fifth of all sales in the snow sports marketplace. However, at the current growth rate, Internet sales will reach more than $650 million and account for 25% of all snow sports sales by the end of the 2008.09 snow sports season.

Customers appear to be increasingly more comfortable clicking to buy skis, snowboards, parkas, goggles, helmets, and pants online. Snow sports equipment sales over the Internet increased by 60% in units and by 79% in dollars. Compare that to the flat or decreasing sales of equipment in specialty shops and in chain stores. Equipment is the fastest growing category in the Internet channel this season. For example, online sales of adult twintip skis have increased from 7,500 pairs last season to more than 22,000 this season.

SIA partners with Leisure Trends Group to provide reliable data about the snow sports market, and about the people who work and play in the snow. The data contained in this press release and in the SIA Executive Market Summary for August to February snow sports sales is collected by Leisure Trends Group for the SIA. If you need additional information, contact Alicia Allen, Associate Director of PR, at aallen@snowsports.org.

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is Your Intelligent Partner.365 of the snow sports industry. SIA annually produces the SIA SnowSports Show, the largest industry trade show and networking environment, and delivers invaluable data, support and marketing products. SIA serves as the national, not-for-profit, member-owned trade association representing snow and winter sports companies. For more information, check out www.snowsports.org. SnowSports Industries America, 8377-B Greensboro Drive, McLean, VA 22102-3587. Phone: (703) 556-9020, Fax: (703) 821-8276, E-mail: siamail@snowsports.org.