Equipment Purchases Down 12 Percent; But Sales Are A Silver Lining
“Manufacturers of ski, snowboard and outdoor gear and accessories haven’t done as well as years past, but that is good news for consumers,” Kat Jobanputra, COO of the Colorado-based Specialty Sports Venture retail stores told SnoCountry.com.
“Weather and lack of snow definitely had an impact on retail sales across the country this season,” he said. “Because of the excess inventory, we’ve been able to get some really good deals from some of our vendors like K2, Burton, and Salomon, and we are going to be passing on those savings to our customers the rest of this season and at the big pre-season sales next fall,” he added.
Jobanputra’s comments came in the wake of a just released RetailTRAK™ report by SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and The Leisure Trends Group, collected from 1,200 snowsports retailers for January 2012. Overall, the snowsports is down 12 percent in units sold and 4.5 percent in dollars sold.
Chain store sales are taking a significant hit this season, SIA reports, particularly because they reduced the amount of equipment they offer to consumers. Those stores are down 17 percent in units sold and 11 percent in dollars sold.
Specialty shop sales are down 16 percent in units for the season and 7 percent in dollars sold. Online alpine equipment sales, by contrast, are up 24 percent in units sold and 22 percent in dollars sold.
Nordic sales are especially hard hit, “suffering acutely from the lack of snowfall,” SIA says. This equipment is down 30 percent in units sold and 26 percent in dollars sold.
Regional numbers track with the weather. Western sales are holding steady, with stores in the Northeast taking the biggest hits.
But, the silver lining is indeed spreading to consumers.
“Our equipment is definitely priced to sell,” Jason Didomenico of Basin Ski Shop at Killington, Vt. told us. “We are moving product, and people are getting good skis at good prices. We have good snow now, too.”
What It Means: SnoCountry’s Snow Whisperer Peter Keelty predicted a month ago that consumers will come out just fine with sales and excellent pricing lasting well into the fall. No one wants to see the snowsports retailers have a rough year, but at least customers will be happy if they act to save plenty of money and help clear the pipeline.
Photo: Patagonia Ski Shop, Breckenridge