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Snow Industry Earns Record Profits for 2010-11

sia_logoSnowSports Industries America (SIA) announced earlier this week that the snow sports market minted a new record $3.3 billion in overall sales during the 2010/11 season – breaking the previous mark of $3 billion set in 2007-08.

Overall sales is an accumulation of three categories: equipment, apparel and accessories.

The record-setting numbers come despite the U.S. economy being in an overall downturn, yet judging by snow sport sales, things might be bouncing back.

In the apparel category customers shelled out a total of $1.2 billion for a jacket, parkas, ski pants, etc. A longer than normal winter kept customers wanting for warmth and proper duds to hit the slopes. Apparel increased 7% in units sold and 11% in total dollars over the previous season.

Accessories matched apparel with its own $1.2 billion in sales of major category items such as hats, gloves, ski racks, snowshoes and several other pieces.

Marking a sign that skiers and riders are becoming more cognizant of head injury and safety, helmet sales boasted 1.2 million units sold – a 3% increase over last year. Helmets are an accessory category inclusion.

Remember that apparel and accessories are categories affected by snow sports enthusiasts and non enthusiasts alike as people buy jacks, glove and hats without ever frequenting the mountains.

Equipment, which includes items such as skis and poles, sold a total of $902 millions, maintaining strong numbers even through the end of the ski season when sales typically drop off. The SIA credits leaner equipment inventories as a major contributor to higher equipment purchases.

Industry experts credit the major late season snow dumps that occurred in the American West and the La Nina storms in the East for increasing sales. Extra winter kept American consumers focused on snow sports and needing apparel and accessories to stay warm.

According to the SIA, “...heavy snow and colder than average temperatures drove consumers to buy in the western region where sales were up 21% in equipment dollars sold, 14% in apparel and 20% in accessories sales. The Northeast also enjoyed sales increasing including 15% more in equipment dollars, 18% more in apparel and 19% in accessories dollars sold during the season.”

SIA is the national not-for-profit, North American member-owned, trade association representing the snow sports industry. Established in 1954, SIA annually produces the SIA Snow Show, the largest snow sports industry trade show, on-snow demo and networking environment globally, while delivering invaluable data/research reports.

-Ryan O'Leary

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