Press Releases

Snow Sports Market National and Regional Sales off to a Healthy Start

According to the SIA Retail Audit Report released today, the 2009.10 snow sports season is well underway and sales were healthy. Also, for the first time, SIA will provide members with regional sales information throughout the season.

Snow Sports Market National and Regional Sales off to a Healthy Start for 2009.10 Season

MCLEAN, Va. (Dec. 9, 2009) – According to the SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Retail Audit Report released today, the 2009.10 snow sports season is well underway and sales results from August to October were healthy, particularly in apparel and accessories. For the first time, SIA will provide members with regional sales information throughout the season, including data specific to the Northeastern, Western, Midwestern, and Southern U.S. states. Overall, the snow sports market enjoyed a 12% increase in unit sales and a 10% increase in dollar sales compared to August through October in 2008. Sales of carryover equipment were down from record levels last season; however about one-quarter of all ski and snowboard equipment was sold as carryover this August through October. Apparel sales were up 13% overall to $242 million, with very strong growth in insulated parkas, apparel suits, and snowboard apparel. Helmets, snowshoes and winter boots enjoyed sales growth over 20% in dollars with winter boots topping out at a 42% increase in dollar sales. All sales channels grew in 2009 and sales topped $520 million August to October 2009.

“Sales have been good during this early season. Helmet sales have been off the charts. Accessory sales as a whole have increased from last year, said Tracy Gibbons, Co-Owner of Sturtevant’s, Bellevue, WA. “Wider skis are continuing to make a statement and binding sales, especially with wide brakes, are following along with this trend. Kids sales are also very strong in all categories.”

Quick Trends
• Fat Skis – sales increased by more than $1 million
• AT/Randonee Skis – sales up 55% to 1,900 skis
• Snowshoes – sales up 25% and headed to new record
• Insulated Apparel – cold and wet weather results in sales increase of more than $13 million
• Helmets – 25% increase in dollars sold, sales on track to hit 1 million units in 2009.10 season
• Winter Boots – fashion trends drive a 42% increase in sales

Regional Results
The Leisure Trends Group is now providing SIA members with in-depth regional data throughout the snow sports season. During August to October 2009, all regions enjoyed better sales with the significant exception in the Western region — continuing fallout from the recession is the likely culprit.

Source: Leisure Trends Group Aug-Oct 2009 Snow Sports Regional Top Line Data

Midwestern regional apparel sales increased 26% in dollars sold as cold and wet weather dominated the fall season there. The South enjoyed strong sales and accounted for 13% of all snow sports dollars, despite a complete lack of snow.

Snow Sports Specialty, $276 million – Up 4% in units and up 4% in dollars

Alpine ski equipment sales results were flat with a 4% decrease in units sold but a 1% increase in dollars sold. Carryover dollar sales of alpine equipment fell 5% for skis, 19% for boots and 26% for bindings. Snowboard equipment sales were down 11%, while snowboard carryover sales increased 19%. Inventories in specialty shops were about 9% smaller overall compared to 2008 levels at the end of October. Inventory reduction results included a 13% reduction in alpine equipment inventory, an 8% reduction in snowboard equipment inventories, and an 8% reduction in apparel inventory units.

Internet, $164 million – Up 29% units and up 26% in dollars

The Internet channel continues to grow as consumers, who use it as a primary information source, are continuing to buy more often after they have finished their online research. In fact, sales were up 28% in units and 26% in dollars compared to August to October 2008. Equipment enjoyed 10% growth in dollars sold, while apparel and accessories sales grew more than 30% in dollars sold. The Internet now represents 31% of all snow sports market sales. Internet sales include sales through “clicks only” establishments that have no brick and mortar shop for customers to visit. It’s all online as well as online sales in shops with a brick and mortar location and commerce enabled Web site for their customers. Many of the sales reported come from brick and mortar establishments that are reaching customers online and in the shop.

Chain Stores, $80 million – Up 12% in units and up 4% in dollars

Chain store sales were driven primarily by apparel and accessory sales from August through October. Chain stores sell far less equipment than specialty or online sales channels. Fewer than 10,000 of the 336,000 skis sold overall in August to October. Apparel sales increased 3%, led by carryover apparel sales that were up more than 20% compared to August through October 2008. The data indicate that chain stores discounted heavily to get customers through the doors.

The market data presented in this report comes from the SIA Retail Audit conducted by the Leisure Trends Group. The Retail Audit data is gathered directly from the Point of Sale systems of about one-third of the snow sports retailers in the U.S. market. Each season, Leisure Trends gathers snow sports sales data from a representative panel of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers who provide sales data directly from their Point of Sale systems. The panel and the method for extrapolating the results out to the entire industry is based on a triennial census of snow sports retailers designed to accurately define the size and structure of the snow sports retail marketplace. SIA maintains this data for members down to the product level. For more information about SIA’s Retail Audit, please contact Kelly Davis, SIA’s Director of Research at

– SIA –

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is the national not-for-profit, North American member-owned, trade association representing the snow sports industry. Established in 1954, SIA annually produces the SIA Snow Show, the largest snow sports industry trade show, on-snow demo and networking environment globally, while delivering invaluable data/research reports including the Snow Sports Market Intelligence Report, the SIA Retail Audit and Executive Market Summary. SIA also develops marketing products, services and programs helping our Members operate more efficiently and increase participation in snow sports. For more information, check out SnowSports Industries America, 8377-B Greensboro Drive, McLean, VA 22102-3587. Phone: 703.556.9020, Fax: 703.821.8276, Email: