Sales Inconsistent Throughout the Country

By Fabia Grueebler

With November gone, the holiday shopping season is officially in full swing. The first few snowstorms have hit some parts of the country while other parts desperately wait for the snow’s arrival. This month’s sales reports from across the country are as varied as the weather.

During the last week of November, SNOWboarding Business contacted thirteen retailers throughout the country asking them to compare this year’s current sales with last year’s. As well as sales comparisons, we wanted the latest update about top-selling gear. This is what they had to share with us.

Dusty Ski and Snowboard shop, Walla Walla, Washington

With the absence of snow in the Northwest, Owner Dusty Maland reports: “Our sales have been way down this year.” He also adds the poor state of the economy as another factor contributing to this season’s low sales.

Up to this point, Dusty’s number-one buys are:

Board: Never Summer

Bindings: Ride

Boots: Vans, Northwave

Apparel: Ripzone, Betty Rides

Boarderline, Anchorage, Alaska

In another area suffering from lack of snow this year, Anchorage shops find themselves looking to the cloudy skies for a little relief. “Sales are below what they were last year,” reports Boarderline Manager Damion Lamothe.

In spite of the slow down, Boarderline’s most-requested gear thus far includes:

Board: Burton, Nitro, Forum

Bindings: Drake, Burton

Boots: Northwave, DCs, Burton

Apparel: 686

Extremely Board, Issaquah, Washington

Like other shops in the Northwest, Extremely Board Owner Phil Stime says, “Sales have been down about ten percent compared to last year.” Stime points to the late snowfall and warms days as the main hold ups this year.

Even so the shop as a few top sellers that include:

Board: Burton Custom, Lib Technologies

Bindings: Ride, Drake, Burton

Boots: Northwave, Burton

Apparel: 686, Sessions

Board Room, Boise, Idaho

In Washington’s neighboring state Idaho, the story is similar. “While this season we’re still waiting for the snow, by this time last year we were riding in deep powder,” says Board Room Owner Angie Sebolt. “This year sales are almost the same, but just a bit down compared to last year.”

Board Room discloses its most-popular selling gear through late November:

Board: Arbor, Salomon, Rossignol Diva

Bindings: Salomon

Boots: Salomon F-Boot

Apparel: 686, Volcom pants, Bonfire, Burton

Dave’s Snowboards, Tahoe City, California

Unlike other regions, the early blanketing of snow in Tahoe has lead to an increase in foot traffic through Dave’s Snowboards in Tahoe City. “Our sales have been up about fifteen percent so far,” states Owner Dave Wilderotter. “I think it’s mainly due to the early snow. And people are just getting out and living again after September 11, 2001.”

With sales up in the Tahoe City shop, Dave reports his top sellers:

Board: Burton Custom

Bindings: Burton P1

Boots: Burton

Apparel: Volcom

Rider’s House, El Cajon, California

For Rider’s House, this year’s sales are down fifteen to eighteen percent for two reasons, according to Owner Chris Larkin: “First, the average temperature was over 80 degrees the last few weeks in Southern California and we sold more shorts and sandals than snowboard gear. And second, road shows have flooded the market with discounted products, from shops selling outside their usual territories.”

After a little prying, Larkin divulged Rider’s House strongest selling merchandise:

Board: Burton, Option

Bindings: Burton, Drake

Boots: Northwave

Apparel: 686

The Boardroom, Jackson Hole, Jackson, Wyoming

“Our sales this year have been down about five percent,” remarks Owner Marc Loebe. “It’s seems the snowboard industry has joinned the downward trend of the ski industry. In general, for the average American family, it’s too expensive to participate in these winter sports.”

Even with a dip in business, the most popular brands sold at The Boardroom this year include:

Board: Never Summer

Bindings: Technine, Flow

Boots: Northwave

Apparel: Special Blend, Volcom

Blindside Co., Salt Lake City, Utah

Moving down into Utah, the Blindside Co.’s sales have been sparked by influences other than early snowfall. “Our sales have been up about ten to twenty percent,” remarked Parker Deamer. “The Olympics last year definitely helped us out.”

With sales up in the Salt Lake City shop, Parker reports the top sellers:

Board: Burton

Bindings: Technine

Boots: Burton

Apparel: Analog

Brothers Board, Denver, Colorado

In spite of the early blanketing of snow in Colorado, sales remain flat at Brothers Board in Denver. “This year’s sales have been about the same as last year’s,” shares Owner Chris Gallagar.

Brothers Board’s best-selling gear for the year is listed as follows:

Board: Never Summer

Bindings: Drake, Ride

Boots: Northwave, ThirtyTwo

Apparel: Volcom, Sessions

Rage Sports, Clarkston, Michigan

Once again the early snowfall in Michigan has sparked the interest in riding for many snowboard customers. “We’re having a better year this year and people are out on the slopes already,” states Manager Travis Schenk. “Overall, our sales have been up compared to last year.”

The most popular brands in Rage Sports this season include:

Board: Forum

Bindings: Drake, Forum

Boots: Northwave

Apparel: Foursquare

Starting Gate, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Along the East Coast, board shops in general are seeing an upside in early season business. “Our sales have definitely been up compared to last year thanks to the early cold weather,” says Chris Farrar of Starting Gate. “People are encouraged that it’s going to be a good season.”

Starting Gate’s strongest selling merchandise:

Board: K2 Spitfire, Burton, World Industries

Bindings: Salomon

Boots: Burton

Apparel: K2, Volcom pants, Burton

Blades Board and Skate Shop, New York, New York

With a weak economy since the 9/11 tragedy and minimal snowfall in the Northeast, sales in New York are still slow. But, a snowstorm recently hit the area and might be the beginning of increased sales. “Sales have been down, the snow hasn’t really reached this region, and we are still recovering process from 9/11,” remarks Manager Joe Chundak.

Top sellers in the Blades Board and Skate shop include:

Board: Burton Dominant

Bindings: Ride

Boots: Burton, Northwave

Apparel: Special Blend,

Fire on the Mountain, Dover, New Hampshire

However, things are quite different moving up the East Coast into New Hampshire. “Our sales been way up, I would almost go so far and call it a record year,” shares Owner Dean LeCrain. “Our secret is good service, promoting parties, and bringing professional snowboarders to sign autographs in the store.”

The most-requested gear at Fire on the Mountain includes:

Board: Gnu Danny Kass, Nitro

Bindings: Burton, Drake, Salomon

Boots: Salomon, Vans Boa system

Apparel: Burton, Bonfire

The B-Side, Burlington, Vermont

In Vermont, a state that’s been blessed this year with early blanketing, things are on the up and up as well. “Sales have slowly picked up compared to last year,” says Manager Jeremy Covey. “It’s mainly due to the better snow conditions this year.”

Up to this point, B-Side’s number-one buys are:

Board: Burton

Bindings: Burton, Nidecker

Boots: ThirtyTwo, Burton

Apparel: Session, Foursquare