Weather Concerns Temper December Sales Growth


From OIA:

Boulder, CO — January 13, 2012 – Outdoor Industry Association released its December OIA VantagePoint™ Monthly Trend Report, which reveals that outdoor product sales grew 5.3 percent to $2.20 billion in the five-week fiscal month of December. The sales growth was tempered however by mounting concern over the impact of unseasonably warm and dry weather across much of the U.S.

November was the fifth warmest in 50 years and December was the warmest in North America since 2006 and the driest since 2001, according to Planalytics, a leading global provider of business weather intelligence. Snowfalls were the lowest since 1999, cutting into sales of seasonal products, including winter sports apparel, footwear and equipment.

“Unseasonable weather is once again the topic of fevered discussion, as everyone from specialty shops to department stores to family footwear stores is singing the weather blues,” said James Hartford, Chief Market Analyst at SportsOneSource Group. “However, the outdoor apparel business is still getting a lift from the specialty and fashion side of the market. Those consumers ‘want’ to spend even as the middle- and lower-end of the market struggle with the impact of weather on the ‘need’ to purchase winter product.”

Outdoor Footwear sales dipped 1.9 percent to $408.7 million in the fiscal month of December, with results at retail hurt by a sagging winter boots business. Winter boots surrendered market share to the still-strong Barefoot Running and Minimalist Running categories, which in December combined to represent 13.9 percent of all Outdoor Footwear sales, up from 7.1 percent in December 2010.

December sales growth for Outdoor Hardgoods fell short of the year-to-date trend, up 1.8 percent to $577.3 million in the channels tracked by SportScanInfo for OIA VantagePoint. As in Outdoor Apparel, sales for the month were strongest at the beginning and the end of the period, with flat sales growth in between.  Snow Sports product sales were challenged the most, down nearly 15 percent overall, with some key categories like Snow Shoes down by nearly a third versus December 2010.

Outdoor Apparel sales were a bright spot, up 9.8 percent to $1.22 billion. Apparel sales grew nicely in specialty outdoor channels, up 14.8 percent in December, as nearly one-third of all Outdoor Apparel was sold through specialty channels. The Internet channel posted the strongest increase in Outdoor Apparel sales for the month, up 44.5 percent.

“Looking forward, reports indicates that some outdoor retailers may take Spring 2012 deliveries early, pulling February shipments into January where possible,” noted Hartford. “Vendors are working with key chain and specialty retailers to work through the inventory overhang.  We are nearly past the point of full recovery at this point of the season and any shift back to normal weather patterns will only help vendors and retailers minimize the impact and liquidate product faster at lower prices and smaller margins.”

OIA members can access the OIA VantagePoint™ monthly trend report for December 2011 by logging in to

OIA VantagePoint™ is the first and only full market point-of-sale data view built specifically for Outdoor Industry Association members.  OIA VantagePoint™ provides comprehensive visibility into the outdoor marketplace by tracking weekly point‐of‐sale data from over 10,000 retail doors and websites carrying outdoor products, including over 350 outdoor specialty locations.

About Outdoor Industry Association

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Outdoor Industry Association® is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services. For more information about OIA go to or call 303.444.3353.

About The SportsOneSource Group
The SportsOneSource Group is a full service market research company delivering solutions through consumer insight research, retail insight research and retail point‐of‐sale trending and analysis. The company provides the most reliable, timely and comprehensive sports and outdoor industry information available in the market today. SportScanInfo is a SportsOneSource technology platform developed to compile, aggregate and disseminate aggregated retail point‐of‐sale information. SportsOneSource also publishes the Sports Executive Weekly and The B.O.S.S. Report executive newsletters, along with the SGB, SGD TEAM Business and SGB Performance print publications and their related online, e‐mail and digital products. For more information about The SportsOneSource Group call 704.987.3450 or go to


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