Mid-Fats Skis, Snowboards Lead Gear Sales Increase


McLean, VA, Dec. 20, 2000–(SAM Magazine) The first sales report of the winter season released yesterday by SnowSports Industries America paints an improving picture at retail. Overall sales-which combines numbers from equipment, accessories and apparel sold at specialty ski and snowboard shops as well as chain stores-were up 1.7 percent for the first part of the season as compared to the August-through-October period of 1999. In dollars, that translates to $297 million in sales compared to $292 million in 1999 and $275 million in 1998.

Of the overall sales, specialty stores accounted for $226 million, compared to $225 million in 1999, a 0.6 percent increase, while chain stores rang up sales of $71 million, a 5.5 percent increase over the $67 million posted for the three-month period in 1999.

Overall equipment sales combining numbers from alpine, snowboard and nordic, was up 0.3 percent to $130.2 million. The leader in gear was snowboard equipment, with a 6 percent hike to $32.9 million for the period. Alpine gear climbed a slight 0.3 percent to $95.3 million, but nordic gear fell 47 percent to $2 million. Specialty store sales accounted for $110 million of the gear sales, down 0.5 percent compared to the $110.5 million in 1999 while chains totalled $20.2 million, up 5.2 percent over 1999.

Alpine ski sales were up 3.2 percent in units but prices slipped from an average of $319 last season to $284 this year, meaning dollars are behind last year by 2.5 percent because of carry-over skis. In the category, however, mid-fat skis are hot, with a 55 percent increase in units sold over last year. Twin tip skis were up 205 percent to $970,000. Alpine boot sales were up 7 percent compared to last season and the average price for bindings was down from $137 last season to $128 this year, causing sales to slide 3.5 percent to $12.8 million. Snowboard sales were up 2.3 percent to $14 million, with snowboard boot sales down slightly by 0.4 percent to $7 million. Snowboard bindings were up 3.8 percent to $5.1 million.