April Sales Mixed, but 2012 Outlook Remains Positive

Leisure Trends Group Outdoor RetailTRAK™ April 2012 – Retail Sales

April Sales Mixed, but 2012 Outlook Remains Positive

Boulder, CO (May 18, 2012) According to Preliminary RetailTRAK™ data from Leisure Trends Group, April sales were mixed for outdoor retail, but the net result was mostly positive. Total core outdoor sales gained 7% from April 2011. Outdoor chains jumped 13% in total dollars sold this month. Meanwhile, outdoor online sales slowed to a meager 1% increase over April 2011 and outdoor specialty sales were essentially flat, sliding less than one percent from last April. Unit sales declined in specialty and online, as average retail prices rose marginally in both channels. LTG Senior Retail Analyst Elisabeth Stahura is not surprised by the muted growth. “We expected to see sales slow a bit in April, as payback for those early-season gains last month”. Despite the uncooperative weather patterns, the net result was positive for outdoor stores during the first four months of the year. Through April, all outdoor sales remained in the black by 4% in dollars and 2% in units, thanks in large part to growth in online sales.

Inventory remained a challenge for retailers through the early spring season. “On one hand, we have excess winter products clogging up retailers’ stockrooms and tying up open-to-buy dollars, and on the other hand, the abrupt change of seasons had retailers scrambling to stock enough spring products to meet consumer demand,” says Stahura. At the end of April, outdoor specialty retailers had 56% more units of winter equipment languishing in their back rooms than end-April 2011, along with 18% more outerwear bottoms, 58% more winter boots, 28% more hats and 23% more gloves. In contrast, sandal inventory was down 16%, sportswear dropped 7%, sunglasses dipped 14% and multisport shoes were down 14%.

Looking ahead to summer product trends, Stahura predicts retailers will be especially successful with the casual shoe category. Trail running shoes, especially minimalist, will also see continued success at outdoor retail, while some of the traditional minimalist categories slow. Lifestyle apparel and accessories will also be popular, according to Stahura; especially in skirts, dresses and sandals.

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/ info@leisuretrends.com or visit www.leisuretrends.com.

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