Phone Calls are Coming for the SIMA Retail Distribution Study

Retailers can expect to begin receiving telephone calls this week from the Leisure Trends Group (LTG), a full-service consumer research and consulting company, on behalf of SIMA asking for their participation in the study. Calls will be made through the end of January, and surf and skate retailers will be selected at random to participate. Survey calls should last approximately 20 minutes, and retailers can request to set an appointment/call-back time allowing the phone survey to be completed at their convenience. All participating retailers and SIMA members will receive a free copy of the study results when released (a $5,000 value).

“Providing industry data and trends through the SIMA Retail Distribution Study is one of SIMA’s most important responsibilities,” says Doug Palladini, SIMA President and VP of Marketing for Vans. “The educational value of credible research and trending data is key to any industry. We highly encourage all retailers to participate in the survey should you receive a phone call. The 15-20 minutes taken to answer this survey will provide crucial information that will help grow the future of our industry. Your input is imperative.”

The goal of the study is to obtain surf and skate industry data and statistics covering areas such as regional and channel differences, brand penetration and category sales volume via the phone survey of specialty retailers. The 2010 SIMA Retail Distribution Study will provide an overview of the U.S. surf and skate market in 2010, as well as result in valuable trending data through comparison to the results of SIMA’s previous 2004, 2006 and 2008 Retail Distribution Studies.

SIMA’s 2004, 2006 and 2008 Retail Distribution Studies were well received and valued by both the surf industry and non-endemic entities alike. The SIMA Retail Distribution Studies, for the first time, provided the surf industry with the information needed to better understand the trends that directly impact sales, business performance and retail strategies. Highlights from the 2008 study included:

  • From 2006 to 2008, the surf/skate industry experienced a slight dip with retail sales hitting $7.22 billion compared to $7.48 billion in 2006 (a 3.5% decrease). However the surf industry has shown substantial growth of 10% for the last five years since the SIMA Retail Distribution Study launched in 2004 with sales at $6.52 billion at that time.
  • The foot was responsible for the largest double-digit growth noted in the 2008. The total footwear category (men’s and women’s shoes and sandals) experienced a hike of 15.6% since 2006 to $1.5 billion in sales recorded in 2008.
  • The apparel product category generated the most sales with $1.7 billion (down just 0.8% from 2006), with men’s/boy’s apparel accounting for 62% of these sales.
  • Accessory sales grew 13.1% from 2006 with total sales of $561 million. Accessories continue to see strong growth in this high-margin product category, which includes sunglasses, watches, bags, hats, belts and wallets.
  • Women’s swimwear recorded significant growth as well, increasing sales by $34 million during the last two years to hit $85 million in 2008.

Results from the study will be announced and reviewed at SIMA Surf Summit 14 in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, May 11-14, 2011. For more information about the SIMA Retail Distribution Study, please visit