East Coast Regional Report

It was a great winter at Concepts, the snowboard shop located at The Tannery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “We had almost nothing left,” says Co-owner Jon Roy. The shop sold out of 99 percent of its softgoods. Its best-selling long underwear was from Patagonia, with keystone margins. On the goggles front, Oakley was the hot seller.

At Concepts, Roy says Level is the number-one selling glove, with margins varying from company to company.

It was a similar story at Mad River Snowboards in Waitsfield, Vermont. Oakley and Arnette were the best-sellers for goggles, according to manager Jerry Goto.

Burton, Patagonia, and Medalist led underwear sales, and Burton gloves topped the list for hand protection. “Glove margins ranged from keystone or close to maybe even more than keystone on some models,” Goto says. “Long underwear usually produced keystone margins, while goggles were not quite as good, but close. Things can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and discounts are better when you order larger volumes.”

Chris Kennette, manager of Out of Bounds Snowboard Shop in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, deemed it “an okay season, all things considered.” The region has had three bad winters in a row, he says.

The shop's best-selling long underwear and gloves are both from Burton, while Dragon led the goggles category. Kennette said the shop makes 40- to 50-percent margins on gloves, underwear, and goggles.

Le Sport, Inc. in Winter Park, Florida, normally makes about 35- to 40-percent margins on those three categories. “But this year was lousy,” says Owner James Jordan. His best sellers are Gordini for gloves; Smith, Scott, and Carrera for goggles; and Duofold for underwear. He blamed low margins on the fact that he had to put everything on sale much earlier than usual.

Michael Bolduc, general manager at Piche's Ski Shop in Guilford, New Hampshire, took sales into account when calculating margins on the three categories came in at about 32 percent last winter. Again, Burton gloves were the top sellers, with Polar Max leading the long underwear category and Oakley and Carrera heading the list of best-selling goggles.

Chip Randall, snowboard manager at Princeton Ski Shop in Roslyn Heights, New York, declined to say what kind of margins the shop makes. However, when told that other shops cited figures from around 30 percent to keystone, Randall laughed and said, “That's about right.”

He noted that with so many customers buying helmets these days, their choice of goggles was often dependent on the helmet they wear. Spy, Arnette, Smith, and Scott are best sellers in the goggles category, while Burton and Helly Hansen are the best-selling long underwear brands. Level and Burton topped the glove category. “We actually had a good season, despite the weather issue,” Randall says.