SIA Reports Increase in Revenue for Snow Sales

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) reports that lower inventories and less sale items helped retailers of snow-sport equipment and clothing increase sales revenue for the 2009-10 ski season to $2.94 billion from $2.82 billion for the previous season. Top selling goods included helmets, powder skis and backcountry skis. • Accessories had the biggest increase in dollar sales, at 7.4 percent to $1.02 billion, followed by apparel (2.48 percent to $1.1 billion) and equipment (2.13 percent to $799.2 million). • Snow sports specialty equipment — 2009/2010 sales were up 4 percent to $1.8 billion, while unit sales dropped 3 percent. • Online sales — Unit sales increased 1 percent, while dollar sales jumped 9.5 percent to $597 million. Last season, online sales leveled off after three seasons of “hyperactive growth,” the report said, though online snowboard unit sales went up 17 percent and dollar sales increased 20 percent. • Chain stores — Unit sales dropped 40 percent, and dollar sales were basically flat at $563 million. While equipment sales generally were down at such stores, dollar sales of accessories such as hats, helmets and goggles went up 5 percent. (Accessories account for about 40 percent of snow-sport sales at chain stores.) Based in McLean, Va., SIA is a not-for-profit trade group started in 1954 that represents businesses in the snow-sports industry. To learn more about the organization or their report, please visit their website at...

ActionWatch Reports Aggregated Sales Increases in Transworld Business

It isn’t time to throw caution to the wind for specialty action sport retailers quite yet but ActionWatch was pleased to report positive sales increases in the majority of product classes they track including apparel, accessories, hardgoods and wetsuits for the month of March. The only exception was footwear, which declined in sales minus sub-category sandals, which showed marked improvement. To see coverage of the ActionWatch Same Store Year-Over-Year report, visit...

SURF INDUSTRY RIDING OUT THE ECONOMIC STORM

Findings of SIMA’s Retail Research Show Resiliency of the Surf/Skate Industry Aliso Viejo, Calif. (July 9, 2009) — The surf/skate industry is showing notable resiliency during recent global economic challenges, posting U.S. retail sales of $7.22 billion in 2008 according to the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA). In a third-party research study conducted by the Leisure Trends Group (LTG) and commissioned by SIMA, the 2008 SIMA Retail Distribution Study, findings released today indicate that the surf industry is holding strong. The study indicates that the surf industry experienced a slight dip in 2008 with retail sales hitting the $7.22 billion mark compared to $7.48 billion in 2006 (a 3.5% decrease). Softness was most apparent in the fourth quarter of 2008, coinciding with the global economic indicators of that time. However, the surf industry has shown substantial growth of 10% for the last five years. The SIMA Retail Distribution Study is conducted biannually, and launched in 2004 with findings showing U.S. surf/skate retail sales at $6.52 billion at that time. “While the surf/skate retail industry is not immune to the downward pressure on retail sales nationwide caused by the global recession, the resiliency of the surf/skate industry is very positive and promising,” says Doug Palladini, SIMA President and Vice President of Marketing for Vans. “Powerful brands with close connections to their consumers will see us through these challenging times and put us in a strong position as the overall economy rebounds.” The 2008 SIMA Retail Distribution Study cites several key factors as driving the overall consistency of the surf industry, including: loyalty of core surfers and skaters to the lifestyle...

Comp Sales in Core Shops Up

According to ActionWatch, and as reported in Transworld Business, core stores on the ActionWatch Retail Panel saw lower comp sales declines in May than they experienced in the first quarter. Although the declines were slightly greater than in April, May is an important indicator month because it did not contain any shifted holidays (April included Easter this year while March had Easter last year). While we cannot confirm with certainty that the core retail channel has found a bottom, May’s numbers provide increasing evidence that this may be the case. Sales for all the product categories tracked by ActionWatch were down 15.2% in May 2009 compared to May 2008 . As in April, Apparel was again the best performing category with sales that were down only 13.5% compared to last year. The worst performing category was Accessories which experienced a comparative sales decline of nearly 20%. Skirts had large comp sales increases again in May making the class an increasingly meaningful product class for core retailers. While skirt sales are still significantly lower than sales of dresses, skirt sales were actually higher than those of pants or denim classes for the female gender in May. For the male gender, the Pants class (all non-denim pants) had a strong month in May with a 17% sales increase over last year. Retailers can also be happy to see a reduction in comp sales declines for the Hardgoods category. At -15%, May provided the best year-over-year sales numbers for hardgoods we have seen so far this year. – Cary...

ZJ Boarding House Debuts New Store Concept

ZJ Boarding House, a Santa Monica staple for over 20 years, and the store of BRA Chairman Todd Roberts and his partner (our dear friend) Mikke Pierson is re-opening with a new look and feel with two of the three store sections being converted into Billabong and Hurley concept stores. As many of you know, ZJ previously had a three prong store with a section devoted to skate, surf and juniors/women. Todd and Mikke still retain ownership of all three sections under the new design, which they have indicated has added some much needed zest to their retail block on Main Street. This is similar to partnerships seen at HSS where their women/juniors section was converted to a Billabong concept shop.Now that ZJ’s is essentially consolidating from three stores to one, Todd and Mikke have decided to focus on those areas of the business where they get the best ROI. Junior’s will be smaller and the surfboard section will be slightly smaller with most of the focus on short boards because longboard sales have slowed. Footwear will be smaller and more focused.And, ZJ’s is scaling way back on its snow business. Instead, the store will focus on the areas that make money: rentals, service, technical work and...