The research available to snow industry companies can help them adapt to the changing market and make them more profitable, said speakers at a late-afternoon panel discussion at the TransWorld SNOW Industry Summit held at Copper Mountain, Colorado April 1 to 4.
Jason Levinthal, founder and president of Line Skis, discussed how he was losing confidence in the twin-tip ski market, a category that his company helped pioneer several years ago. Although he felt that the category should be booming, his sales weren’t. After purchasing sales and demographic research on the market, he saw that his category, although still small, was showing huge growth gains. In addition, 44 percent of all skiers were under the age of 24, and that group was expected to get larger in the future.
Feeling better about his market position and product mix, he then included this research into his sales catalog and presented it to retailers during the most recent SIA show and sales season. This helped educate the retailer and helped them get behind the twin tip/freeski movement and order more products.
Joining Levinthal on the panel were NSAA Director of Finance/Controller Laura Menozzi, Leisure Trends Director of Business Development David Scott, and Label Networks VP Kathleen Gasperini.
Menozzi discussed how the National Ski Areas Association conducted numerous studies on both the operations and consumer use of resorts across the United States.
Scott talked about how his company, Leisure Trends, conducts many retail and consumer research. Most notably for the snow industry, Leisure Trends produces the SIA Retail Audits, which were what Levinthal used to analyze his company’s sales and market trends.
Rounding out the panel, Gasperini talked about how Label Networks conducts a series of surveys in the United States and Europe focusing on the youth market, which now has more than 110-billion dollars of spending power in the U.S. alone. Her company also conducts extensive research on the Warped Tour, and has new youth studies coming from Japan and China in the near future.
The TransWorld SNOW Industry Summit had gathered more than 300 executives from snowboard and ski manufacturers, retailers, and resorts to discuss issues facing the group. It was produced by TransWorld SNOWboarding, with partners Mountain Sports Media and SIA.