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Outdoor Retail Sales Surge in October

Published November 18, 2011

BOULDER, CO (BRAIN)—Leisure Trends Group reported that October outdoor retail sales rose 14 percent compared with the same month last year, totaling about $426 million, according to preliminary data.

Keeping pace with September’s record sales, which totaled $462 million, outdoor stores posted the largest October dollar volume since Leisure Trends began tracking outdoor sales in 1998. All channels contributed to the month’s overall growth as chain, specialty and online sales all saw their best October on record. Outdoor chain rose 16 percent to $145 million; outdoor online increased 14 percent to $113 million; and outdoor specialty gained 11 percent to $169 million.

Leisure Trends has yet to release preliminary October sales data for cycling retail. For the year through September, however, cycling sales are up 7 percent, compared with an increase of 11 percent for outdoor, said Julia Day, vice president of sales and marketing at Leisure Trends.

“Outdoor enthusiasts are not only shopping in their local outdoor specialty stores but also taking advantage of both outdoor chain and online retailers,” said Leisure Trends analyst Scott Jaeger Sr. “This tracks with active outdoor consumers’ holiday plans.”

According to Leisure Trends’ “All I Want for the Holidays” survey, which polled more than 3,000 active Americans in September, outdoor enthusiasts plan to spend the majority of their budgeted sports and recreation dollars at outdoor stores and online. Outdoor specialty chain and online sites are the most popular choice for planned holiday purchases, with each representing 23 percent of total expenditure, followed by independent outdoor specialty stores at 18 percent, the survey found.

Apparel was a driving force behind October’s gains. The category saw double-digit growth across chain, specialty and online. “Strong apparel sales in October, combined with active Americans putting outdoor apparel at the top of their holiday shopping lists, means outdoor retailers should be seeing a very happy holiday season,” said Jaeger.

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