Saturday, January 19, 2008

Outdoor Sales Remain Strong

The Outdoor Industry Association's November Topline Sales Report showed sales in Outdoor Specialty, Outdoor Chain, and Outdoor Internet channels increased 9%, 8%, and 4%, respectively, in November 2007 (versus November 2006), giving the industry good momentum as it headed into the holiday season.

Colder temperatures helped outerwear sales increase 16% in Outdoor Specialty and 9% in Outdoor Chain in November. Women's outerwear sales outsold men's for the first time since 2003, accounting for 44% of Specialty outerwear sales compared to 38% in November 2004. Junior's outerwear sales were up 33% in November, accounting for 13% of outerwear sales compared to 7% in November 2004.

Footwear sold well across all channels and categories in November. Winter Boot sales increased 35% in Outdoor Specialty. Footwear sales increased 10% in Outdoor Chain and 23% in Outdoor Internet.

Macroeconomic concerns of recession caused by the mortgage crisis and demonstrated by weak holiday retail sales among the nation's largest retailers has created uncertainty for a repeat of high single-digit growth in the outdoor industry for 2008. However, a solid 2008 is not out of the question. VF Corp (JanSport, The North Face, Eastpak, and others) announced that revenue is projected to grow 9% in 2008, albeit with higher growth in international markets than domestic markets. Moreover, the outdoor industry continues to attract consumers drawn to the outdoor-inspired lifestyle and has outpaced overall U.S. retail sales for four years running.

from Outdoor Industry Association, newsletter, Jan 18, 2008
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