BOULDER, CO (BRAIN)—Outdoor Industry Association has released the OIA VantagePoint June Monthly Trend Report, which reveals that compared to the general retail sector, outdoor product sales notched a smaller-than-anticipated 2.7 percent sales increase for the five-week fiscal month of June to $1.23 billion.
Of the channels tracked by SportScanInfo for OIA VantagePoint, outdoor specialty stores performed well during the month, with independent outdoor specialty store sales increasing 5.1 percent when compared to the year-ago period, and outdoor chain specialty stores increased 7.3 percent compared to fiscal June 2010.
“June sunshine was key to solid sales in many areas,” said LaRae Marsik, vice president of business intelligence for Outdoor Industry Association. “As summer temperatures arrive across the country consumers are making up for lost time gearing up for their favorite activities. The late start to the season, thanks to the weather, may curtail some expectations though for overall summer sales performance.”
Outdoor Footwear retail sales increased an impressive 11.1 percent to $263.6 million for the month. The category was up against a strong year-ago June period when the barefoot craze was in its prime and the natural/minimalist categories continued to accelerate momentum in the specialty channels despite broader distribution and less-expensive knock-offs. All natural/minimalist footwear product sales, which includes product from the running and outdoor categories, more than doubled in June 2011. Conversely trail running footwear sales fell 45 percent during the same five-week period, likely due to cannibalization, while outdoor sandals sales declined more than 26 percent over the same time frame.
Outdoor apparel sales rode a roller coaster in June, with unseasonal weather driving Outdoor Outerwear categories into double-digit growth, and offsetting double-digit declines in outdoor sportswear. Overall for June, Outdoor apparel declined 6.5 percent to $189.7 million in sales. Trends improved by the end of the month, however, as independent outdoor specialty apparel sales surged 30 percent in the week leading up to the July 4 holiday.
The overall outdoor hardgoods business grew just 2.5 percent to $776.6 million in June, due in large part to a flat trend in the discount/mass, sporting goods and internet channels, which combined sold more than 75 percent of outdoor hardgoods for the month. While still a smaller portion of the month’s sales, specialty retailers were still selling ski and snowboard-related products in June, three months after the traditional end-of-season as a number of western resorts stayed open into the holiday weekend at month-end.