Solid Apparel and Hardgoods Growth Almost Equals Declines in Footwear

Fiscal September brought flat growth for outdoor products, as sales rose just 0.4 percent to $896.6 million, according to the latest monthly sales report from OIA VantagePoint. As in fiscal July and August, Outdoor Hardgoods and Apparel posted solid gains while Footwear continued to struggle. The Discount/Mass, Chain Specialty and Specialty Internet trade channels provided robust growth in outdoor product sales for the five-week period ended Oct. 5, 2013.

Outdoor Apparel sales rose 6.2 percent to $254.6 million, similar to the August growth rate. The growth in Apparel was driven primarily by stronger Outdoor Outerwear and Outdoor Sportswear sales as consumers purchased more fall-like items, such as Insulated Jackets, Long-Sleeve Woven Tops, and Casual/Fitted Pants and Bottoms. Headwear and Handwear sales increased for the month, while the Socks sub-category pulled down the Outdoor Accessories category overall.

Outdoor Footwear sales continued to decline in fiscal September, falling 14.8 percent to $210.6 million. Most Outdoor Footwear categories fell for the month, with the exception of Trail Shoes, which was the only primary category to post positive growth.

Sales of Outdoor Hardgoods increased to $431.4 million. The 6.3 percent growth rate was similar to that in prior months, but a slowdown from the 10 percent growth seen in August. Most Hardgoods categories increased over the comparable month last year, with the exception of the Hydration, Outdoor Electronics and Trailers/Racks categories, each of which had slight declines. Sales of Camping Equipment (one of the largest segments within Outdoor Hardgoods) maintained strong growth for the start of fall, but slowed from the double-digit gains in August.

The Chain Specialty, Specialty Internet and Discount/Mass channels gained share of outdoor product sales. Chain Specialty accounted for 11.7 percent of the outdoor product sales tracked by SportScanInfo for OIA VantagePoint™ (up from 10.6 percent in September 2012), Specialty Internet accounted for 6.7 percent of sales (up from 6.1 percent last September), and Discount/Mass Retailers accounted for 4.5 percent of sales (versus 4.0 percent in September 2012).

Final results for the month are published in the OIA VantagePoint monthly trend report, available free of charge to Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) members. For more information about becoming an OIA member, visit outdoorindustry.org/join or contact the OIA membership team at 303.444.3353.

OIA VantagePoint is the first and only “full market” weekly point-of-sale data reporting platform built specifically for the outdoor industry. OIA VantagePoint monthly trend reports provide the broadest and most timely view of outdoor product sales available. Category reports are available at no charge to OIA members and provide comprehensive visibility into the outdoor marketplace by tracking weekly point-of-sale data from more than 10,000 retail doors and websites that carry outdoor products, including nearly 450 specialty locations. It is 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 — 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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