Saturday, January 31, 2009

2008 Outdoor Sales Gain 5%

from a news release of the Outdoor Industry Association

Outdoor sales for the entire year in all three core outdoor store channels (chain, internet, specialty)* totaled $5.2B, a 5% gain over 2007, according to the most recent edition of The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Outdoor Topline Report, produced for OIA by the Leisure Trends Group. For the entire year, internet stores and chain stores grew a healthy 18% and 7% respectively, while specialty stores were down 2% in dollars.

December Decline
Christmas was tough for retailers across the country, as retail sales fell by record amounts and retailers big and small shuttered doors coast to coast. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, total retail sales fell 2.7% in December, more than double the anticipated decline of 1.2%. Although the outdoor industry felt the effects of a tough Christmas season along with the rest of the country, results were better than most industries, a cause for cautious optimism heading into 2009.

Specialty Bright Spots
Although overall sales were down slightly for specialty in 2008, many categories emerged as clear winners in a tough year. Winter boots, fueled entirely by women’s styles, were up 11% in full-year dollar sales. Woman-specific sportswear categories such as dresses, skirts and sports bras were also good sellers. Other footwear and apparel categories with strong growth included softshell tops, casual shoes, trail running shoes and multisport shoes.

The hands-on hydration category, which consists mainly of water bottles, was on fire in 2008, refusing to slow down after huge growth in 2007. With environmental and health concerns continuing to shape the category and fuel product innovation, this growth is expected to continue in 2009.

A renewed interest in economical, close-to-home vacations helped fuel sales of camping-related items in specialty stores this year. Sales of items such as tents (+2%), sleeping bags (+3%), camp stoves(+4%) , climbing gear (+3%), water purification (+11%), mattresses (+2%) and miscellaneous camp accessories (tent accessories +28%, sleeping bag accessories +7%, pack accessories +4%) all benefitted, each outpacing 2007 dollar sales.

Online Skyrockets
Online sales totaled $973M in 2008, grew 18% and fueled a significant amount of buzz in the outdoor industry. Combining November and December together to include the entire holiday season, 2008 came out 7% ahead of 2007 in dollar sales. In December, Internet sales were up in all four major categories.

Chain Sales Strong
All Chain dollar sales were up 7% both in December and for the entire year while average retail prices saw nearly across-the-board declines for both periods. In December, retail prices for the entire channel declined 4% and nearly every category saw prices drop. Smaller and lower price-point items such as equipment accessories and apparel accessories saw especially strong growth, but every major category increased dollar sales in December as consumers took advantage of good deals and sales. Holiday sales and cold weather may well have been the catalysts for the growth in dollar sales in December.

See Outdoor Industry Sees Opportunities as Hiking Diversifies
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1 comment:

GagayMD said...

dropping by on a sunny blessed sunday


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