According to SIA (SnowSports Industries America), snow sports market sales declined 1.5% Aug-Jan this season compared to Aug-Jan 2007/08. Consumers are buying small ticket items like hats and gloves but appear cautious when it comes to bigger purchases like snowboards. Current year model equipment sales are down 7% in snowboard equipment while carryover sales accounted for 24% of all snowboards sold so far this season. As a result, 40% of participating retailers said that they have limited their snow sports spending and 32% have purchased no gear at all as a direct result of current economic conditions.
According to the Retail Audit, Alpine ski and snowboard equipment sales have decreased just 5% overall compared to this time last season but were heavily leveraged by sales of carry-over equipment. Carryover is defined as anything sold at less than the average wholesale cost of that item.
The market data presented in by SIA comes from the SIA Consumer Panel maintained by SIA and the Retail Audit conducted by the Leisure Trends Group. The Retail Audit supposedly consists of data gathered directly from the Point of Sale systems of about 1/3 of the snow sports retailers (1200 stores) in the U.S. market.