McLean, VA, Jan. 14–The ski resorts aren’t the only ones being hammered by warm weather and snowless slopes. According to the second Snowsports Industries America (SIA) Topline Retail Audit, retail sales of snow sports equipment dropped 10.7 percent for the August 1, 1999 to November 30, 1999 period.
All sales at specialty stores were down 10.3 percent and sales at chain stores were down 11.1 percent. Equipment sales at specialty ski and snowboard shops dropped 9.5 percent in dollars while chain stores showed a 1.2 percent increase. However, accessories fell 28.3 percent at chain stores compared to a 15.7 percent drop at specialty stores.
Most retailers blame the warm weather start to the winter season all across the country. On the bright side, preliminary numbers from December show a sharp recovery with many retailers claiming record holiday shopping.