January marks the end of the retail fiscal year, a year in which Outdoor Product sales grew an impressive 5.1 percent to $11.4 billion, according to OIA VantagePoint, the only full market point-of-sale data platform built specifically for the outdoor industry. Sales growth was strongest in the National Accounts Internet channel (up nearly 26 percent) and the Independent Outdoor Specialty channel (up 13.1 percent) in fiscal 2012.

The month of fiscal January brought overall growth despite a decline in the Outdoor Footwear business. Gains in Outdoor Hardgoods and Outdoor Apparel pushed overall sales up 18.4 percent to $895.1 billion for the fiscal month ended Jan. 26, 2013.

Outdoor Apparel had a big month. Retailers benefitted from good winter weather in many parts of the country as they ramped up promotional events to liquidate seasonal goods in advance of February floor changes to spring goods. Outdoor Apparel sales increased 30.2 percent to $429.3 million.

Outdoor Hardgoods continued its strong performance with help from Snow Sports, which had been down in double-digits all year but rose nearly 28 percent in January. Overall Hardgoods growth accelerated from its December trend, growing 21.1 percent to $271.6 million in January.

The Outdoor Footwear business was down again in January, but these results were not a clear reflection of the health of core Outdoor Footwear. The entire decline was attributed to the Mall Retailer channel, which posted a 73 percent decrease due primarily to the collapse of the Barefoot Running category. Overall Outdoor Footwear sales fell 4.0 percent to $194.3 million in the fiscal month.

In the first two weeks of fiscal February, Outdoor Product sales got off to a positive start as Outdoor Apparel and Outdoor Hardgoods both continued double-digit growth. With a rather strong President’s Day weekend now in the rear-view mirror, many retailers are looking for sun and warmer temps to help get the spring season started as new goods arrive.

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) members can learn more and access the OIA VantagePoint Trend Report January 2013 free of charge at outdoorindustry.org/vantagepoint.

OIA VantagePoint is the first and only full market point-of-sale data platform built specifically for the outdoor industry. OIA VantagePoint monthly trend reports, published by the 15th of every month, provide the broadest and most timely view of outdoor product sales available. Category reports are a benefit to Outdoor Industry Association members and provide comprehensive visibility into the outdoor marketplace by tracking weekly point-of-sale data from more than 10,000 retail doors and Internet sites, including nearly 450 outdoor specialty locations that carry outdoor products — the broadest view of outdoor products available in the market. In-depth sales information is available online within four days of the prior-week close — a competitive advantage for businesses who can shift critical resources and react quickly to ever-changing consumer preferences.

Logo courtesy Outdoor Industry Association

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