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In a report that does not bode well for wintersport sales next year, SIA released its latest retail audit spanning August 2001 to February 2002. Overall sales for specialty and chain retailers — alpine, Nordic, and snowboard — dipped 5.8 percent to $1.9 billion, down from $2.1 billion during the same period in 2000. Specialty store sales saw numbers drop 4.8 percent while chains were the hardest hit with a decline of 8.9 percent. For specialty: Nordic ski sales increased 19.5 percent to $10.6 million with boots up 5 percent to $9 million. Interestingly, bindings sales dipped 1.6 percent to $4.2 million while pole sales plummeted 27.3 percent to $2.1 million. Not surprisingly, apparel sales were way off with shells experiencing the brunt of the sales dip dropping 17.7 percent. The only bright spot for winter apparel sales came from fleece with an increase of 6.2 percent, vests with an increase of 18 percent, and women’s insulated parkas, with sales up 17.3 percent. To read the full report, click on www.snowsports.org.
SNEWS® View: Excess inventory still on retailer shelves means reorders for next year will be lighter than hoped. It also means retailers may cancel or downsize orders placed during the buying shows this year, choosing to wait until older inventory has been moved off the shelves. The only things that will change the winter sale picture for next year are a very early and very wintry start to the season — like skiable snow in mid-November.