Highlights from the 2008/2009 Snowsport Season Analysis

I had the pleasure of being permitted to listen in on the SIA/Leisure Trend conference call this afternoon highlighting the 2008/2009 Snowsport Season Analysis from August 2008 – March 2009. There were about 100 people registered for the call led by Kelly Davis of SIA and Scott Jaeger of Leisure Trends. Kelly began the call by reiterating that retailers sold less and made less this year. There were still 57.1 million ski/riders this season which is only a 5.5% decline from last year’s record setting season. Passionate riders find the money and snow will always trump the economy. Below I have taken the liberty to highlight some of the interesting reports. Not a shocker but it was a tough year for specialty retailers. Northeast retailers faired okay with Southern California retailers reporting the worst sales stats. Strong early season sales helped to offset slow downs at the end of the season in some cases. Online sales ($5456 million) made up for brick-and-mortar sales. In fact, internet sales were up 12.1% while specialty stores were down 7.82% and chains were down 7.36%. There was aggressive discounting across the board, which is going to have long-term effects on profit. There will be fewer OTB dollars out in the market next buying season. In addition, consumers are being trained to seek discounts. There needs to be a partnership between retailers and manufacturers not to devalue industry products as a whole. Hot Trends: In the ski arena, the sale of ski systems are down. People want freedom in bindings. Flat ski twin tips are up. Carve skis are down. In the snowboard category,...