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Year-end Sales Report Shows Camping and Outdoor Gear Fare Well in 2009

The 2009 year-end edition of the Outdoor Topline Report found that retail sales for all core outdoor stores combined dropped 2 percent compared to 2008, moving from $5,188,090,096 to $5,075,143,991.

Year-end Sales Report Shows Camping and Outdoor Gear Fared Well in 2009

Overall Outdoor Sales Down Slightly

BOULDER, CO (February 24, 2010) – The 2009 year-end edition of the Outdoor Topline Report, produced for the Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA)  by the Leisure Trends Group,found that retail sales for all core outdoor stores combined (chain, internet, specialty)* dropped 2 percent compared to 2008, moving from $5,188,090,096 to $5,075,143,991. However, 2009 sales were still up 2 percent from 2007.

Although 2009 was a difficult year for retailers, manufacturers and consumers alike, by falling just 2 percent against 2008, the core outdoor industry fared better than many other retail channels. Items related to camping and outdoor vacations such as backpacking tents, synthetic-fill sleeping bags, packs up to 4,000ci, climbing gear and camp accessories fared well this year. Footwear was also a hot category, as hiking boots, winter boots and multisport shoes all saw double-digit growth against 2008.

Outdoor Specialty

Specialty stores slipped 4 percent in overall dollar sales this year, for a total of $2.1 billion in retail sales. Most major product categories saw moderate single-digit declines in dollar sales this year. Footwear was a healthy category in 2009, specifically hiking boots, winter boots and multisport shoes, all of which saw double-digit sales increases this year. Other categories with positive momentum included energy food and apparel accessories such as handwear.

Outdoor Chain

Chain stores also lost ground in overall sales this year. Compared to 2008, all chain store sales declined 4 percent in units and 3 percent in dollars. Similar to specialty stores, footwear sales were positive this year with winter boots, hiking boots and multisport shoes all increasing sales over 2008. Energy food was another hot category in 2009; sales were up 25 percent from 2008.

Outdoor Internet

The online channel continued to fuel sales growth in 2009. Compared to last year, all online sales were up 4 percent, reaching the $1 billion mark for total sales this year. Equipment played a significant role in online sales this year, accounting for 22 percent of all dollars sold in 2009. Compare that to 11 percent of total sales in chain stores and 9 percent in specialty stores for the same period. Equipment sales were up 11 percent in online dollars sold this year, with gains coming from tents, packs, sleeping bags, climbing gear and winter equipment. Other categories with increased dollar sales in 2009 included camp accessories (up 11 percent), outerwear (up 6 percent), socks (up 10 percent), hiking boots (up 12 percent), winter boots (up 21 percent) and multisport shoes (up 8 percent).


Core paddlesports stores (specialty, chain, internet) brought in $338M for all of 2009, down 7 percent compared to 2008. Boat sales declined 9 percent in overall dollars from 2008. Recreation kayaks, the largest boat category with $110 million at retail this year, slipped 2 percent in overall dollar sales. All paddles were down 10 percent in dollars sales this year, and apparel slipped 5 percent. Accessories were flat, with $90 million in total sales this year. In 2009, 74 percent of paddlesports dollar sales occurred in the specialty channel, 18 percent occurred in chains and 8 percent online. Last year, specialty stores brought in 76 percent of the total, chains 17 percent and internet 7 percent.


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.

To access brand share, best selling styles, the competitive set, brand growth and more please contact Leisure Trends Group for more information, 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 trade shows. For more information, visit or call 303.444.3353.