McLEAN, Va. (April 10, 2002) – Sales of winter sports products from the August to February time period for specialty stores were down 4.8 percent, $1.48 billion compared to $1.56 billion last season for the same time period, according to the SIA Retail Audit. Sales for all stores (specialty and chain) were down 5.8 percent compared to the same period in 2000. In dollars, that translates to $1.9 billion in sales so far this year compared to $2.1 billion for the same period in 2000.

Chain stores sales of winter sports products were down 8.7 percent for the August through February time period compared to 2000, according to the fifth Retail Audit for the season. In dollars, that translates to $457.6 million in sales so far this year compared to $501.2 million in 2000. The unit sales were behind last year, down by 11.4 percent.

According to Jim Spring of Leisure Trends Group, the company that prepares the annual Retail Audit for SIA, “Despite the lack of snow, specialty stores did better than expected because they tend to attract committed skiers and those people looking for experiences rather than price. The post 9/11 consumer study which SIA did confirms this. Hard core downhillers said they would ski/ride despite the terrorist attack but probably would drive rather than fly. Beginners and never-evers said that they would probably cancel their plans. This directly affected chain stores this season because they attract new skiers and boarders.”

The SIA Retail Audit tracks and reports sales in all snow sports product categories. This is the fifth of six reports for specialty stores that will look at sales through March 31, 2002, the end of the winter season. SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is the not-for-profit industry trade group that represents manufacturers and distributors of snow sports products. Chain store information will be released separately.

All equipment (alpine, snowboard and Nordic) in specialty stores stayed consistent with the previous year in dollars at $624 million compared to $624 million, though units were down slightly by 2.9 percent. Alpine ski equipment was down 3.1 percent to $417.2 million as compared to $430.4 last year. The bright spots so far this season are Nordic equipment which rose 5.3 percent to $25.8 million and snowboard equipment up 7.2 percent to $180.5 million in sales. Sales for Nordic equipment in 2000 were $24.5 million while snowboard was $168.3 million.

Apparel and accessories both saw losses, 6.3 percent and 9.7 percent respectively. Sales for apparel were $413.9 million while accessories were $445.6 million. Last season sales for apparel were $441.5 million while accessories were $493.7 million.

Alpine Equipment Down, Snowboard and Nordic Sales Strong

Alpine ski sales fell 14.8 percent to $149.3 million. Interestingly, alpine ski prices went up in February to $325 from $312 season-to-date. As the season winds down, three categories stayed fairly strong in alpine skis this season — mid-fat, fat, and twin tip skis — with sales up 21.6 percent, 70.2 percent, and 12.4 percent respectively. However, carve ski sales saw double digit losses, off by 45.3 percent. In addition, this season marks an end of the traditional ski era, with only 790 pairs of traditional skis sold this year and 915 remaining in inventory. Ski systems were up by 194.6 percent in dollars at an average retail of $718. Systems contributed $33.9 million in total sales, 8 percent of total ski equipment sales so far this season.

Alpine boot sales were down 2.1 percent to $158.5 million; sport performance boots continue to dominate, advancing 17.0 percent in dollars, while adult recreation boots had a 51.3 percent gain. Bindings were down compared to last year (5.3 percent) to $63.2 million. The Din 1-7 binding was off 96.7% in sales this year, bringing in only $137,342. Poles are down 18.4 percent in sales to $12.3 million.

Nordic skis climbed 19.5 percent to $10.6 million, followed by boots p 5.0 percent to $9.0 million). Both bindings and poles saw declines in dollars, down 1.6 percent to $4.2 million and 27.3 percent to $2.1 million respectively.

Snowboards were up 9.2 percent to $85.5 million. Ride/style and freeride are leading the way, up 21.6 percent and 19.5 percent in dollars respectively. Snowboard boot sales were up 3.6 percent to $53.1 million and snowboard bindings were up 7.9 percent to $41.9 million. Through February, snowboard equipment registered 28.8 percent of all snow sport equipment sales, up from 27 percent in 2001, a 7 percent gain. Apparel Sales Drop as Weather Stays Warm

Apparel tops are down 1.9 percent to $222.8 million. The women’s insulated parkas were up 17.3 percent to $32.1 million. Shells are staying on the shelves, down 17.7 percent in dollars. Excess inventory is creating no room for fresh stock in this category. However, the warm weather has helped boost sales of vests, up 18.0 percent in dollars and fleece tops, up 6.2 percent in dollars.

Overall the apparel suit category is down 41.9 percent to $17.1 million. The only category registering any gains is stretch suits, up 43.2 percent in dollars.

Bottoms normally sell better late in the season and this year proved no different, up 10 percent in units through February. However, bottoms are down 11.0 percent in dollars to $91.9 million. Snowboard apparel held steady, up 0.4 percent to $82.1 million. Men’s snowboard tops have been outselling women’s at a three to one ratio and in bottoms a five to one ratio. This category represents 20 percent of apparel sales.

CHAIN STORES Total Equipment Sales Down, Nordic Continues to RiseAll equipment (alpine, snowboard and Nordic) for chain stores was down 19.1 percent to $111 million from $137.2 million in 2000. Alpine ski equipment was down 17.8 percent to $57.7 million, compared to $70.2 million last season. Nordic equipment was a bright spot at chain stores, rising 19.0 percent to $8.9 million compared to 2000, when sales were $7.5 million. Snowboard equipment was down 25.4 percent to $44.4 million from $59.5 million last season.

Both apparel and accessories saw losses at chain stores during the August through February time period, down 2.2 percent and 7.8 percent respectively. Sales for apparel were $192.5 million while accessories were $154.2 million. Last season, sales for apparel were $196.8 million and accessories were $167.2 million.

There was a considerable slowdown in snowboard equipment sales this year at the chains. Double-digit increases have been the norm over the past few years. However, this year snowboard sales were down 30.2 percent in dollars to $19.7 million. All categories of boards were down except for Ride/Style boards, up 17.2 percent in units. Snowboard boot sales were down 22.7 percent to $14.2 million and snowboard bindings were down 19.0 percent to $10.5 million. Snow decks/skates continued to be hot, with slightly over 12,000 units sold so far, selling for an average of $51. Snowboard, Women’s Apparel Hot in Chain StoresApparel tops were down 8.4 percent in dollars to $111.5 million. Shells were strong, up 13.9 percent in sales, selling at an average retail price of $98. Women saw bargains, with sales of women and junior’s apparel leaping up 63.9 percent and 73.2 percent in dollars respectively. Vests and fleece are up – vests (up 10.8 percent in dollars,) fleece tops (up 16.3 percent in dollars) and sweaters (up 5.8 percent in dollars). Suits took a hit, down 33.1 percent in dollars to $3.3 million.

Bottoms did well in chain stores, up 6.8 percent to $40.9 million. Shell waist pants (up 10.2 percent in dollars), stretch waist (up 11.5 percent in dollars), fleece waist (up 21.3 percent in dollars), and junior bottoms (up 63.3 percent in dollars) all registered gains. Snowboard apparel was up 15.4 percent to $36.8 million with units charging ahead 36.6 percent. Junior tops were up 13.2 percent and bottoms increased 16.2 percent in dollars. Overall, snowboard bottoms increased 26.1 percent in dollars. Men’s (up 31.9 percent in dollars) and women’s (up 19.5 percent in dollars) both saw double-digit gains. More women are buying snowboard apparel in chains than in specialty stores.

Accessories Saw Some Positive Gains

Equipment accessories were just slightly down by 1.2 percent to $59.8 million. However many categories made gains – auto racks (up 24.8 percent to $7.7 million) and helmets (up 10.8 percent to $7.0 million). The new snow decks/skates are helping this category stay consistent.

Apparel accessories were down 11.6 percent to $94.3 million. This category saw some movement during the month of February. Winter boots (up 21.8 percent to $5.5 million), gloves (up 7.1 percent to $18.5 million), mitts (up 2.8 percent to $4.7 million) and headwear (up 3.3 percent to $11.7 million) all registered positive gains.

Snow Deck/Skate Sales Bring Life to Struggling Accessories Category

Equipment accessories were down slightly by 1.8 percent to $228.3 million. However, the best performer was auto racks (up 15.9 percent to $33.8 million). Two other categories saw slight gains in sales, sunglasses and snowshoes (up 2.8 percent and 2.7 percent respectively), What helped this category tremendously was snow decks/skates which sold almost 65,000 units with an average retail price of $86. All classes of apparel accessories suffered declines. This category was down 16.8 percent to $217.2 million.

For other statistics on winter sports, go to the News & Research section of www.snowlink.com. SIA provides valuable information on sales, participation and demographics for all winter sports and press releases on new products in 22 product categories.

***SIA***

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is the national, not-for-profit, member-owned trade association that represents snow and winter sports outdoor companies. SIA produces the SIA SnowSports Show, the largest trade show and gathering place for the snow sports industry. Proceeds from the SnowSports Show fund market development programs for all snow sport disciplines. SIA also annually produces more than a dozen industry research studies. For more information, check out www.snowlink.com. SnowSports Industries America, 8377-B Greensboro Drive, McLean, VA 22102-3587. Phone: (703) 556-9020, Fax: (703) 821-8276, Email: siamail@snowsports.org.lars. Overall, snowboard bottoms increased 26.1 percent in dollars. Men’s (up 31.9 percent in dollars) and women’s (up 19.5 percent in dollars) both saw double-digit gains. More women are buying snowboard apparel in chains than in specialty stores.

Accessories Saw Some Positive Gains

Equipment accessories were just slightly down by 1.2 percent to $59.8 million. However many categories made gains – auto racks (up 24.8 percent to $7.7 million) and helmets (up 10.8 percent to $7.0 million). The new snow decks/skates are helping this category stay consistent.

Apparel accessories were down 11.6 percent to $94.3 million. This category saw some movement during the month of February. Winter boots (up 21.8 percent to $5.5 million), gloves (up 7.1 percent to $18.5 million), mitts (up 2.8 percent to $4.7 million) and headwear (up 3.3 percent to $11.7 million) all registered positive gains.

Snow Deck/Skate Sales Bring Life to Struggling Accessories Category

Equipment accessories were down slightly by 1.8 percent to $228.3 million. However, the best performer was auto racks (up 15.9 percent to $33.8 million). Two other categories saw slight gains in sales, sunglasses and snowshoes (up 2.8 percent and 2.7 percent respectively), What helped this category tremendously was snow decks/skates which sold almost 65,000 units with an average retail price of $86. All classes of apparel accessories suffered declines. This category was down 16.8 percent to $217.2 million.

For other statistics on winter sports, go to the News & Research section of www.snowlink.com. SIA provides valuable information on sales, participation and demographics for all winter sports and press releases on new products in 22 product categories.

***SIA***

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is the national, not-for-profit, member-owned trade association that represents snow and winter sports outdoor companies. SIA produces the SIA SnowSports Show, the largest trade show and gathering place for the snow sports industry. Proceeds from the SnowSports Show fund market development programs for all snow sport disciplines. SIA also annually produces more than a dozen industry research studies. For more information, check out www.snowlink.com. SnowSports Industries America, 8377-B Greensboro Drive, McLean, VA 22102-3587. Phone: (703) 556-9020, Fax: (703) 821-8276, Email: siamail@snowsports.org.