Hot/Not | Sales trends at Nat’s Outdoor Sports in Bowling Green, Kentucky

Kids clothes, kayaks, and Astral water shoes are in; dresses, YETI, and big-ticket camping products are out.

Lisa Martens of Nat's Outdoor Sports in Kentucky
Lisa Martens stands outside her shop, Nat’s Outdoor Sports, in Bowling Green, Kentucky.Courtesy

Lisa Martens, owner and proprietor at Nat’s Outdoor Sports in Bowling Green, Kentucky, tells us what’s flying off the shelves and what refuses to leave the nest in the store her dad, Nat, founded in 1971.

What’s hot in your store right now?

Patagonia products in Nat's Outdoor Sports
Like many outdoor specialty retailers, Patagonia is a top-selling brand at Nat’s Outdoor Sports.Courtesy

Patagonia is our top apparel brand, along with preppy southern brands like Southern Tide. Kids clothes made by those brands are increasingly popular because parents want to dress their kids in the brands they love.

Because we’re in the southeast, water recreation products fly off the shelf. We’ve had a great season selling kayaks. They’ve become more popular in our area over the last three to four years because people are learning more about access points on the local river.

Normally we sell a lot of Chacos, but we recently brought in Astral water shoes and they have been a pleasant surprise. They’re mesh for draining and close-toed like a sneaker—basically made to be on boats. As kayaking has become more popular, they’ve followed.

What’s not hot?

Dress display in Nat's Outdoor Sports
Dress sales at Nat’s Outdoor Sports have slowed this year as women seem to prefer skorts, shorts, and skirts.Courtesy

Dress sales are slower than past years, especially casual dresses. People still buy a lot of skorts, so maybe they’re just wearing more skirts and shorts.

YETI sales have also slowed. They were such a big craze for a while, but the market is flooded with similar products. It leveled off like any fad when other players enter the market.

For several years we’ve had trouble selling tents and sleeping bags—the big, expensive camping stuff. As more and more of that product becomes available on the internet, those have been a hard sell.

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