Monday, June 22, 2009

Positive growth in outdoor retail - OIA news release

This news release was originally posted on The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) - See link at end for full release.

April Outdoor Sales Indicate Declines Easing, Shoppers Returning

Boulder, Colorado, June 10th, 2009 — Retail sales for all core outdoor stores combined (chain, internet, specialty)* grew 2% compared to last April, moving from $339M to $347M, according to the most recent edition of The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Outdoor Topline Report, produced for OIA by the Leisure Trends Group. Sales for the four months of the year totaled $1.4B, down 5% from the same period in 2008.

Outdoor Chain – Shoppers Return
According to the OIA Outdoor Topline Report, chain stores saw sales surge 20% in units and 18% in dollars. Every major product category (equipment, equipment accessories, apparel and footwear) and most sub-categories gained. Products that appeal to families and car campers fared especially well. Recreation tent sales shot ahead of last April by 78% in units and 64% in dollars. Sun shelters were up 88% in units and three-season recreation tents, retailing for $124, jumped 71%. Synthetic fill rectangular bags, retailing for $32, increased 82% in units whereas the more technical synthetic mummy bags, at $99 retail, grew 31%.

Outdoor Specialty – Declines are Slowing but Not Yet Reversing
In specialty stores, April declines were not as severe as in past months, as total sales fell 1% in units and 4% in dollars compared to April 2008. So far this year, all specialty unit sales declined 6% and dollars fell 10%. Each major product category (equipment, equipment accessories, apparel and footwear) saw single-digit declines compared to last April. There were bright spots this month, too, as synthetic sleeping bags, medium-sized packs, climbing gear, multisport shoes, hiking boots and various equipment accessory categories posted gains.

Outdoor Internet – Retail Prices Rise, Units Fall as Online Retailers Rein in Clearance Product
Internet sales totaled $54M this month, falling 20% in units, rising 4% in average retail-selling price and dropping 17% in dollars. All year, Internet sales have been sporadic, up 35% in January on huge carryover sales, down 9% in February, back up 14% in March and now down 17% in April. Higher retail-selling prices across many categories coupled with dramatically smaller carryover sales (defined as old and/or discontinued merchandise) point to either a lack of available merchandise and/or online retailers reigning in the amount of rock-bottom clearance priced product they are offering. If this is the case, total sales may have fallen but profit per turn might go up.

For more on this, see the whole release on the Outdoor Industry Association's news page:

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