by Lindsay Jarett
Around the third week in October, TransWorld SNOWboarding Business called ten shops around the country to see how sales were doing early in the season. It seems that business started to get better as temperatures dropped, but sales there’s still some warm temperatures across the nation and shop sales are off to a slow start.
Overall, sales were up or about the same from this time last year. In the board department Burton is kicking off to a good beginning, topping sales in almost every shop. Ride bindings are quite popular so far, along with Salomon boots. Sales on outerwear have been moving slowly due to the warm temperatures, but Volcom’s in high demand.
For Zeller’s Ski & Sport in Green Bay, Wisconsin, business was off to a good start. “Sales were up in early September as a cold rush came in, but as the temperatures rose business slowed down, says Manager Ryan Ropson. Even so, a lot of people have been doing back-to-school shopping, so T-shirts, backpacks, and sweater sales have gone up. Outwear sales have been slow. Boards have been selling at a moderate pace, and the Burton Custom leads in sales for Zeller’s. The store has placed some special orders for some high-end boots from Burton, but in stock the Burton Ruler has been selling well. Sales on Salomon boots are up from last year as well. Every model of Salomon and Ride bindings are also moving off the floor.
“Sales have been going pretty well as compared to last year, says Kristy McNiss, sales associate for Boston Underground Snowboards in Boston, Massachusetts. The boards that have been selling are the Burton Custom, Ride Timeless, and the pricepoint Ride Control. So far this season McNiss has been seeing, “a lot of kids just starting out.
Beginners and old pros have been looking at the Burton C-16 bindings, but when it comes time to buy the Ride Team and Burton Mission have been going out the door. In the apparel department Underground Snowboards only carries Burton and 686, so it’s very limited in what the store sells. Northwave and Ride boots have been selling well in the low to mid-range pricepoints.
In Columbus, Ohio, Sunsports Owner Nick Garcia says, “Sales seem to be up compared to this time last season. The weather is still a little warm in the area, but anytime there’s a drop in the temperature Garcia says people start thinking about snowboarding. Burton boards are generating a lot of interest “This is contributed by the brand’s new catalog.
The store has sold a moderate amount of Never Summer and Lib Technologies boards, but no particular model has been requested. High-end bindings have also been selling, especially the Burton C-16. Customers seem to like the selection of boots in stock this season at Sunsports, but all brands have been selling just about evenly, with a few more sales of the Burton Sabbath. In outerwear the store has seen a lot of requests for higher-end outerwear, noting a jump in sales from Volcom and 686. Garcia says, “Puffy jackets are definitely a trend this season.
“It is too early in the season to tell how sales are doing, says Larry Leege, owner of Freestlye of Duluthin the college town of Duluth, Minnesota. According to Leege, there’ve been a lot of lookers and already a few things are starting to be put on layaway, but he hasn’t seen special requests for any brands yet. Even so, a little bit of everything has been selling. “On cooler days more people come in and look around, states Leege. Not much apparel has been selling, but Leege has noticed that when people buy, they usually purchase complete outfits.
Sales have been off to a slow start for The Shred Shop in Chicago, Illinois. “People are going for higher-end boots and bindings, explains Owner Chris Bachman. Ride and Burton bindings seem to be the most popular while Salomon and Burton boots are selling particularly well. Boards are going at a steady pace, but the store has not had any speal requests for products. As it starts to get colder, more apparel is being sold and Bachman has been selling a lot of jackets from 686, Bonfire, and Burton.
In Orem, Utah sales are doing a slightly better than last year for Urban Snow and Skate. “Not too many boards are selling yet, due to the lack of snow on the ground, says Sales Associate Zoober Krew. For a shop located just fifteen minutes from the closest resort, the store is selling a lot of Ride bindings and DC boots. Urban Snow and Skate has not received its full shipment for this coming season, but they have been selling some sweaters, T-shirts, and hats, mostly from Special Blend.
October sales have been a little slow for Out of Bounds in Carson City, Nevada. “Expects sales to be up from last season once there is some snow on the ground, says Buyer and Manager Chris Koniniec. Rome boards have been taking off in sales this season and many customers come in and request the Agent and Anthem models. Rome’s women’s model has become very popular and is selling extremely well too. There have been a few more requests for Burton boots this year compared to last year, while ThirtyTwos have been selling at the same pace. Burton and Drake bindings have continued to sell strongly, but this season there’ve also been a lot of requests for Nidecker. Holden, a new up-and-coming clothing company, has been selling a lot of pants and jackets, along with requests for Mission Six clothing. Out of Bounds is now just waiting for the weather to cool off so its sales can get a little boost.
Out on the West Coast, Epic Surf Skate and Snow is doing really well in its early season sales. “The people in San Diego are getting ready for an early opening at Mammoth Mountain, California, says Assistant Manger Steve Pitt. The Salomon and Burton boards are selling the best for the shop, with many of the same requests for the Burton Custom and Ride Timeless. Epic has just started to carry Rome Snowboards, and the brand has quickly gained interest from customers. Many riders are going for boot comfort and are purchasing Northwave boots, but Salomon has also been selling at the top. The Burton Custom bindings have been popular with a price right around 160 dollars. Jackets seem to be a hot early purchase item especially those from Sessions and Volcom. Additionally a few items such as stomp pads and leashes have been selling, but with the holidays just around the corner, those sales will start increase.
Further north in Auburn, California, Boards N Motion has been off to a slow start when compared to the sales of the past two seasons. “We are getting more of the hardcore riders who know what they want, but don’t plan on seeing any of the recreational riders until later on in the season, says General Manager Chris Willmoth. Ride and Rome are picking up in board sales this season, and so far the usual money makers, Burton and K2, are not doing too well. Surprisingly for Boards N Motion the store is selling quite a few Arbor boards, as in the past the brand hasn’t sold well. Salomon lady bindings are kicking off to a good start along with the Mikey LeBlanc Drake bindings. As for boots, Salomon and Northwave are selling well in the shop. Willmoth advises his customers to purchase boots first as they’re always the first item to sell out. Not too much apparel is selling now while it’s still a little warm outside, but Volcom and Mission Six are in the lead. Willmoth tells us “a cold front is coming this week so everyone is getting excited.
Moving north along the coast to Eugene, Oregon, sales so far have been good. “There is already a lot of hype for a good season, says Boardsports Manager Jackie Thomas. The snow was not too good last season, so people are getting really amped for this year. When compared to boots and bindings, many boards are not selling well for the store according to Thomas. Even so, customers are looking for a little something special in the board market. “Customers want to see the new UnInc from Burton, since it is so hard to come by, she says. The Scotty Whitlake model from Lib Technologies has also been a popular choice this season. Ride bindings have been selling the best so far, while ThirtyTwo, DC, and Northwave have been the popular boot brands. At Boardsports, Northwave is always the first brand to sell out completely. Mission Six has been selling many of its jackets, as well as the whole brand in general. Its sister brand, Monix, has also produced quality clothes for the ladies this season. “I have already sold one full line from Monix, says Thomas board market. “Customers want to see the new UnInc from Burton, since it is so hard to come by, she says. The Scotty Whitlake model from Lib Technologies has also been a popular choice this season. Ride bindings have been selling the best so far, while ThirtyTwo, DC, and Northwave have been the popular boot brands. At Boardsports, Northwave is always the first brand to sell out completely. Mission Six has been selling many of its jackets, as well as the whole brand in general. Its sister brand, Monix, has also produced quality clothes for the ladies this season. “I have already sold one full line from Monix, says Thomas