Snow Sports Market Sets Billion Dollar Record in December

The snow sports market sold more than $1 billion worth of equipment apparel and accessories in December alone and reached $2.1 billion season-to-date. This is the first time in history snow sports sales have topped a billion dollars for sales in a single month.

Sales through December this season are 16% higher in dollars sold and 10% more units sold compared to the same time last season. With excellent snow conditions across the U.S. and improved consumer confidence 2010.11 is predicted to be the best season ever for the market.

Equipment sales continue to lead market increases with a 22% increase in dollars sold overall and 11% more units sold. Alpine equipment sales are up 27% season-to-date, and snowboard equipment sales are enjoying an excellent recovery with 14% more dollars sold through December compared to last season’s disappointing numbers.

Apparel sales are strong in the early season increasing 11% in dollars sold. La Niña conditions continue to bring excellent conditions for snow sports across the country including the South where below average temperatures and snowfall, in cities like Atlanta, drive sales of snow sports apparel. Accessories sales increased more than 16% led by very strong surges in goggles, wax, snowboard accessories and backcountry accessories. Overall, the snow sports market is enjoying excellent sales and it is on track to set new benchmarks this season as excellent snowfall and improving economic conditions drive consumers to the market for cold weather apparel and equipment to enjoy the harsh winter conditions.

Early Season Trends

• Alpine ski systems sales are up 30% in units sold and 35% in dollars sold.

• AT/Randonee equipment sales are up more than 90% overall led by boot sales that increased 150% to $5.9 million in sales.

• Reverse/Mixed camber ski sales are up an astounding 168% in units and 165% in dollars and represent 10% of all alpine skis sold so far this season.

• Reverse camber snowboard sales are up 54% in units and 58% in dollars sold. Reverse camber is the new norm in snowboard, 61% of all snowboards sold are rocker/reverse camber so far this season.

• Snowboard sales are up 5% in units and 14% in dollars sold, a solid turnaround from last season’s relatively dismal sales.

• Snowboard apparel tops up 16% in dollars sold.

• Insulated parka sales surged 22% in units sold and 23% in dollars sold through December as La Niña conditions pounded most of the U.S. with cold temperatures and snowfall.

• Goggles sales surge up 32% in units sold to 360,000 pairs.

• Consumers are buying current season equipment and carryover sales are down 24% overall in the snow sports market

Regionally, heavy snow and colder than average temperatures brought consumers out to buy in the western region where sales were up 25% in dollars sold. The Northeast enjoyed increases of 9% in units sold and 17% in dollars sold after two seasons of decline. Unexpectedly, the South also enjoyed sales increases of 10% in units sold and 15% in dollars sold after last year’s stellar sales. The Midwest region showed stable growth of 9% in units and 11% in dollars sold on strong equipment sales that are up 21% in dollars sold.

The market data presented in this report comes from the SIA Retail Audit conducted by the Leisure Trends Group. The Retail Audit data is gathered directly from the Point of Sale systems of about 1/3 of the snow sports retailers in the U.S. market. Each season, Leisure Trends gathers snow sports sales data from a representative panel of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers who provide sales data directly from their Point of Sale systems. The panel and the method for extrapolating the results out to the entire industry is based on a triennial census of snow sports retailers designed to accurately define the size and structure of the snow sports retail marketplace. SIA maintains these data for members down to the product level. For more information about SIA’s Retail Audit information please contact Kelly Davis, SIA’s Director of Research at