Retailers see turn-around in December

As reported by Leisure Trends Group:

November was hot and dry across the United States and the outdoor industry paid. Overall snowsport sales fell 9.9% in dollars while outdoor stores had an up-tic of 1.5%.

Chain stores provided a lift for outdoor gaining 15% and increasing 1% in snowsports comparing November 09 to 08. The Internet was up 13% in outdoor and 11% in snow while specialty was hit the hardest in both snow (down 18.8%) and outdoor (down 9%). The percentages are preliminary and may change.
October’s frost and snow which fed early-season optimism changed radically when Indian Summer spread across the continent. In addition to the weather, retailers did not know which way to turn to find inventory. Many told us that they had reduced their OTBs by 20% and that the 2009/10 season was one where they might lose a few sales, but they were hoping to protect their margins. They scrambled for fresh inventory in October, but that ended abruptly in November. December, retailers say, has returned to normal and most expect a better than last year holiday season. Long term weather forecasts predict heavy snow and winter weather for the month of December.

Last November, the Midwest had snow on the ground, this November it was in the 70s. That difference drove Midwest sales down a full 32% from November 2008. Sales in the Northeast declined 22% and the South fell 20%. Positively, a few early snows in the Rockies and Northwest kept both snow and outdoor specialty retail sales nearly even with last year. But, resort shops across the nation experienced slow sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, putting a damper on the business heading toward December which can represent nearly one-third of a snow sport retailer’s annual business.

About Leisure Trends Group – LTG is a provider of consumer research, real-time CRM services and retail market intelligence (retail sales tracking) to suppliers, retailers, associations, resorts and companies in the leisure, sport, recreation, hospitality, travel and entertainment industries. Leisure Trends Group is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. For more information, contact Julia Day, 303-786-7900 x107 or visit