Leisure Trends Group Outdoor RetailTRAK™ January 2012 - Retail Sales

Slow Start to 2012 for Outdoor Retailers

Boulder, CO (February 14, 2012)
Continued warmer than average temperatures dampened outdoor product sales for the second straight month in January. Preliminary Outdoor RetailTRAK™ data from Leisure Trends Group report that January 2012 sales declined 1% from January 2011. "The US monthly snow cover extent was the 3rd smallest on record in the past 46 years", states Leisure Trends Retail Analyst JJ Rudman. "Basically, Mother Nature has been working against outdoor retailers for the past two months."

Outdoor specialty stores posted the greatest losses, down 9% from January 2011. The South's 18% drop led the dollar decline while specialty retailers in the West fell a more modest 4%. Chain store sales fell 3%. On a positive note, the warmer temperatures benefitted paddle sport sales. The category enjoyed double-digit growth at chain, specialty and online retailers this January.

Following a December increase, online sales of outdoor products gained 21% in dollars over January 2011, on a huge 38% bump in units sold. Average retail selling price plummeted 12% for the same period. Equipment accessories, apparel and footwear all contributed to both the dollar growth and ASP decline. Rudman cautions that high sales do not necessarily equate to healthy sales. "The high unit sales and low ASP in January 2012 suggests that retailers are discounting to move seasonal product out of stockrooms. The good news is that it is working; online sales in January were the highest recorded by LTG thus far. The bad news is that margins are likely taking a hit."

With similar weather patterns predicted for February, outdoor retailers may need to plan for an early Spring.

About Leisure Trends Group - LTG is the leading provider of consumer research, retail market intelligence (retail sales tracking) and integrated CRM/Direct Marketing services for the sports, recreation, hospitality, travel and entertainment industries. Suppliers, retailers, associations, resorts and financial analysts rely on Leisure Trends Group for actionable consumer insights, accurate retail sales data that includes margins and inventory, and innovative targeted marketing solutions. Leisure Trends Group is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. For more information, contact Julia Day, 303-786-7900 x107 or visit www.leisuretrends.com

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