The ActionWatch Retail Panel, comprised of independent surf and skate shops, reported essentially flat overall March sales compared to the same period in the prior year. Apparel, accessories and hardgoods sales, however, were up while footwear and wetsuit sales declined enough to bring overall sales comparisons slightly down and end a six-month streak of year-over-year sales gains. Regardless, overall sales for the full first quarter were up by 6.4% compared to Q1 2010 due to strong year-over-year sales increases in the first two months of 2011.
While sales of apparel tops were strong in March, apparel bottom sales struggled with declines in nearly every bottoms class. Male-gender shoe sales continued their double-digit sales declines in March while female shoe sales soared. Sandal sales were down for the month for all genders due at least partially to the weather. Within accessories, watches, socks and hats performed the best while bag sales struggled in March. Skate hardgoods also performed well again in March although surf hardgood sales were slightly down.
March sales lost some momentum but did not decline enough to bring sales for the full quarter down compared to the prior year's first quarter.
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.