Record-Breaking Snowfall in the US Boosts Winter Sports Gear Sales

Kids are not the only ones welcoming a snow day.

According to The NPD Group Inc., ski areas in the U.S. are reporting record-breaking snowfall, which means an uptick in sales for the snow sports market. Winter/snow sports gear sales grew 7 percent from August through December 2018 to $4.3 billion, noted the market research organization.

“The weather has been very favorable to snow-loving consumers and the snow sports industry this season,” said Matt Powell, VP and senior industry adviser for sports at NPD. “As long as conditions are right, consumers will be inclined to make purchases. With time left to hit the slopes, I expect the industry will end the season with strong sales.”

At the sports category level, although sales grew for equipment and footwear in the chain, specialty, and internet retail channels, it was apparel that contributed to the majority of dollars gained over the five-month period. All apparel product categories including outerwear, socks, handwear and headwear experienced double-digit growth.

“Premium outerwear, in particular, has been a standout category this fall,” said Powell. “Clean inventories combined with fresh looks have been key factors.”

When it comes to equipment sales, snowboarding was a strong performer and provided the highest gains, noted NPD, reaching $232.8 million from August through December, up 13 percent over the same period last year, with double-digit sales gains for snowboards as well as boots and bindings. For snowboarding, it was the women’s category that racked up the strongest sales.

“I often say that women’s is an underserved market across many facets of the sports industry,” said Powell. “Brands today are finding their sweet spot by getting behind particular social or environmental initiatives that are of growing concern for today’s consumers.”

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