The ski season is pretty much over across most of the country, but fresh retail figures keep dropping in. Compiled by SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and Leisure Trends, the latest SIA RetailTRAK results point to a market that’s not only hot for AT gear, but for women’s cross-country equipment and puffy parkas as well.

According to SIA, the snowsports retail market finished February up 5 percent in units and up 7 percent in dollars sold to $3.3B for all equipment, apparel and accessories. Snowsports retailers brought in $218M more dollars through February this season compared to August to February 2012/2013 despite weather conditions that disrupted snow sports retail markets.
 
Leaner inventory levels are another key factor this season. Equipment inventories are 21 percent lower through February and apparel inventories are 11 percent leaner than they were at this time last year. “Scarcity is healthy for the market. Scarcity results in higher margins and diminishes the need for discounting in the middle of the season,” said Kelly Davis, SIA director of research.
 
Here’s Your Notable Trends Highlight Reel
•    Alpine Touring/Randonee equipment continues to enjoy significant increases. AT binding sales are up 14 percent in units sold to 22,230 units, and up 11 percent in dollars sold to over $8 million.
•    Sales of alpine/AT boots are up 25 percent to 82,000 units sold, and up 21 percent in dollars sold to $32M. Alpine/AT boots make up nearly 17 percent of dollars and 11 percent of units sold in the alpine boot market so far this season.
•    Sales of women’s cross-country equipment increased 34 percent in dollars sold to $6 million. Overall, sales of cross-country equipment were up 17 percent in units.
•    Junior girls snowboarding equipment sales grew 31 percent in units and dollars sold. Overall, snowboard equipment sales are flat in dollars sold to $217 million.
•    Backcountry accessories sales including beacons, probes and shovels increased 12 percent in dollars sold. Skins are the biggest seller in the category, up 7 percent in dollars and 3 percent in units to nearly 23,000 sold.
•    Sales of action cameras were up 12 percent in units sold to 103,500 cameras and up 23 percent in dollars sold to $35 million.
•    Alpine insulated parka sales were up 19 percent in dollars sold to $353 million and up 13 percent in units to about 2 million parkas sold.
•    Snowshoe sales are up 12 percent in units sold to 98,000 units and 14 percent in dollars to over $14 million sold through February. Snowshoe inventory levels are down 33 percent with some popular models becoming difficult to find toward the end of the season.
 
Conclusion
Sales are healthy through February 2014. March 31 is the cutoff day for retail sales measurement in snowsports retail and SIA expects the season to end with $3.6 billion in retail sales, leaner than average end-of-season inventories, and healthy margins throughout the season.

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