Outdoor Industry Association Says Sales Growth Accelerating

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According to OIA, sales of outdoor footwear, apparel and hardgoods increased 6.8 percent to $1.18 billion in the five-week fiscal month of June. Based in Boulder, CO, with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer.

The trend for the month represented growth from the low-single digits seen in the year-to-date period through May, according to retail point-of-sale data compiled by SportScanInfo for OIA VantagePoint. Year-to-date sales through June reached $4.37 billion, up 2.7 percent compared with the same period last year.

“The surge in outdoor product sales runs counter to the broader shift some analysts saw in preliminary estimates of June retail sales released by the U.S. Census Bureau,” added James Hartford, CEO and chief market analyst at The SportsOneSource Group, which manages the OIA VantagePoint reporting platform. “Historically, the outdoor industry sees less negative impact from the influences that hinder growth in the discount and general merchandise markets such as stagnant wages and higher fuel and food prices.”

Outdoor Apparel sales increased 9.3 percent to $27.7 million in the five-week fiscal month ended July 5, 2014, driven by Outdoor Sportswear and Outdoor Outerwear. The trend was nearly twice the mid-single digit increase seen in the prior year-to-date period (May). Average selling prices (ASPs) grew by more than 33 percent in the Specialty Internet channel — reflecting more consumers paying full, in-season price.

Year-over-year sales of Outdoor Hardgoods increased 7.6 percent to $635.4 million in the five-week period, continuing the growth seen in April and May. Outdoor Hardgoods sales increased 4.3 percent during the week of Independence Day, following a 7.9 percent increase in the comparable week last year (due to the four-day weekend). This bodes well for outdoor specialty retailer given that the fiscal month leading up to the Independence Day period has historically been the second-highest month for Outdoor Hardgoods sales.

Outdoor Footwear sales also picked up in Fiscal June after turning positive in May. The category seems poised to continue to improve as long as the weather cooperates. Sales increased 3.3 percent to $274.8 million in Fiscal June. The increase for Fiscal June was the largest monthly increase for Outdoor Footwear since March 2013, and was only the third sales increase for the category since August 2012. Weather greatly affected the category the last several springs.

According to OIA, internet sales garnered 15.6 percent of total Outdoor Product sales in Fiscal June, up from 14.1 percent in May 2013, but down from the 19.4 percent share in the four-month year-to-date period through May. Internet represented 9.1 percent of Outdoor Footwear sales in Fiscal June versus 8.7 percent a year ago, and 24.4 percent of Outdoor Apparel sales compared with 21.4 percent in Fiscal June 2013.

OIA VantagePoint is the “full market weekly point-of-sale data reporting platform built specifically for the outdoor industry.” OIA VantagePoint weekly and monthly trend reports provide timely views of outdoor product sales. Online category reports are available at no charge for Outdoor Industry Association members and track weekly point-of-sale data from more than 10,000 retail doors and websites that carry outdoor products, including about 450 specialty locations, the broadest view of both brick-and-mortar and Internet sales of outdoor products available in the market. In-depth sales information is available online within four days of the prior-week close.

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.

The SportsOneSource Group is a full service market research company delivering consumer insight research, retail insight research and retail point-of-sale trending and analysis.

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