SIA released a new round of retail survey numbers. If you where wondering what impact the winter had on sales…don’t. Below is a fun weekend read to see what happening in US winter retail.

WASHINGTON, DC (March 2, 2012) – Today, SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and The Leisure Trends Group have released the most recent RetailTRAK™ numbers for January 2012, collected from the Point of Sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers. January sales brought little relief to a market suffering from lack of snow. Overall, the snow sports market is down 12% in units sold and 4.5% in dollars sold.

Chain store sales are taking a significant hit this season particularly because they reduced the amount of equipment they offer to consumers; overall, chain store sales are down 17% in units sold and down 11% in dollars sold.

Specialty shop sales are down 16% in units sold and 7% in dollars sold, but they brought in 59% of the $2.7B in total snow sports sales through January this season. By contrast, the online sales channel is doing quite well increasing unit sales by 10% and dollar sales by 12% through January. In fact, alpine ski equipment sales online are up 24% in units and 22% in dollars sold.

Total sales through all snow sports retail channels Aug – Jan = $2,657,342,955, down 12% in units, down 4.5% in dollars sold.

Equipment Sales – down 9% in units and 5% in dollars sold
Apparel – down 2% in units and flat in dollars sold
Accessories – down 16% in units and 9% in dollars sold
Specialty shop inventories are up significantly including 35% equipment units in retail stock which doesn’t bode well for orders or for hopes of strong pricing at the end of this season and the beginning of the 2012/2013 season. Sell through is, of course, down significantly as well.

Trends to watch in 2011/2012

Flat skis (skis sold without bindings) with waist width > 80mm are up 22% in units sold and 19% in $ sold to $36M through January this season.
Adult twin tip flat skis and ski systems sales are up 25% in units sold and up 34% in dollars sold to almost $50M on 102,400 units sold August through January.
Reverse camber skis are flying out of retail despite a lack of fresh pow; sales are up 75% in units to 106,346 compared to 60,674 through January last season.
Nordic equipment sales are suffering acutely from lack of snowfall; sales are down 30% in units and 26% in dollars sold. Sales in February and March should pick up as snow falls across the Rockies, Midwest and Northeast regions.
Reverse camber/rocker snowboard sales continue to rise. Unit sales of rocker boards are up 9.5% in units and 7% in dollars sold. In fact, 73% of all snowboards sold through January have reverse camber.
Alpine tops sales are healthy this season, particularly women’s insulated parkas up 13% in units and 11% in dollars sold, and men’s shell parkas up 13% in units sold and 10% in dollars sold.
Accessories sales are showing the weather pattern, particularly for items normally purchased when preparing for an imminent trip to the slopes, including goggles and wax.  Goggles sales are down 24% in units sold and 16% in dollars sold and wax sales are down 26% in units sold and 18% in dollars sold.
Regional Sales Trends
Regionally, snow sports specialty shop sales are tracking with the weather with the West holding steady and the Northeast suffering the most. Overall, sales in the Western U.S. are down 2% to $529M while sales in the Northeast are down 12% to $530M.

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