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Press Releases

Outdoor Chain Stores, Internet, Post Strong November Sales

Retail sales for all core outdoor stores combined gained 2 percent compared to last November, according to the most recent edition of the Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) Outdoor Topline Report.

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BOULDER, CO (January 6, 2010) – Retail sales for all core outdoor stores combined (chain, internet, specialty)* gained 2 percent compared to last November, moving from $406M to $412M, according to the most recent edition of the Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) Outdoor Topline Report, produced for OIA by the Leisure Trends Group. Year-to-date sales (January – November 2009) totaled $4B, down 2 percent from the same period a year ago.

While October 2009 was the third coldest in 115 years and the wettest on record according to the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, weather in November provided the opposite. This November was the third warmest in the past 115 years and the 18th driest on record. The majority of the country experienced warmer-than-average temperatures, all the way up until Thanksgiving. While the warm weather probably played a part in the 10 percent all-store dollar decline for outerwear, overall dollars still managed to increase 2 percent from last November’s dismal sales. Increases were driven by chain and internet stores, while outdoor specialty store sales fell 9 percent. Specialty store declines were most heavily influenced by steep losses in outerwear.

Outdoor Specialty

Total dollar sales at outdoor specialty stores slipped 9 percent compared to November 2008, with most of the declines coming from outerwear. All outerwear fell 20 percent in dollars for the period, moving from $95M to $76M. During what is typically the second largest month for outerwear sales per calendar year, insulated, softshell, shell and fleece tops all lost sales. Coming from a smaller base, all apparel accessories such as scarves, hats and gloves, dropped 11 percent and base layer lost 19 percent. Positively, many other major product categories saw sales increases this month. Packs, climbing gear, winter equipment, hiking boots, winter boots, multisport shoes and multiple accessory categories all outsold November 2008.

Outdoor Chain

In contrast, chain dollar sales rose 15 percent compared to last November’s miserable sales, moving from $113M to $131M. Still, sales did not return to pre-economic downturn levels in chain stores: November 2009 came in 7percent below November 2007’s $140M in total sales. Looking at November 2009 versus. November 2008, all four major product categories (equipment, equipment accessories, apparel, footwear) saw double-digit increases. Warmer-than-average weather didn’t stop consumers from purchasing seasonal items. Winter boots, winter equipment, outerwear, base layer and apparel accessories all saw increased sales for the period.

Outdoor Internet

In a trend seen online for much of the year, the average retail-selling price by category continued to rise in November. Compared to November 2008, total online unit sales rose 3 percent while average retail-selling price jumped 9 percent, resulting in a 13 percent gain for overall dollar sales. Sales of carryover product (old/ discontinued or sold below cost) declined for the third straight month. This month, all carryover products dropped 26 percent in total dollar sales compared to November 2008. Overall sales were up nearly across the board, with notable increases in winter boots, multisport shoes, winter equipment and camp accessories. Similar to chain stores, online sales of outerwear remained positive in spite of the warmer weather; compared to last November all outerwear dollar sales rose 2 percent in units and 5 percent in dollars.


Core paddlesports stores (specialty, chain, internet) brought in $9M in November and $324M year-to-date, up 4percent for November but down 7 percent for the YTD period. For the very small month of November, paddlesports sales were largely positive. All specialty store sales totaled $7M, up 2 percent from last November, with gains coming from recreation kayaks, paddles and various accessory categories. Chain and Internet, coming from extremely small bases, also increased sales this month.

OIA Outdoor Topline Report Outdoor and Paddle channels include: outdoor and paddle specialty, national outdoor chains, regional sporting goods chains and outdoor (and paddle) internet specialty merchants.


To access the OIA outdoor retail sales Topline data, read the complete monthly executive summary and to review trends by industry channel and category, OIA members can log in at or call 303.444.3353 for assistance.

For additional brand growth and brand and model market share reports, please contact Leisure Trends Group at 303.786.7900 x107


About Outdoor Industry Association

Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, market and social research, business-to-business services and youth outreach initiatives. Educational events include the annual Rendezvous®, Outdoor University® and the Capitol Summit. Outdoor Industry Association is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is the title sponsor of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshows. For more information, visit or call 303.444.3353.