Thursday, September 2, 2010

2010/11 Snowboard Market Outlook Report

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) just released a preliminary analysis of the 2010/11 snow season based on pre-season orders, last year’s sales, the overall economy, and the number of retailers in the game. The study features some great insight into where snowboard sales are trending as welll as some positive figures, as long as Mother Nature decides to play ball this winter.

SIA collected pre-season order data from its 700 member companies, representing 1,200 brands, and on the snowboard front,  orders are trending up for the boot and binding categories.

While the number of units pre-booked are up slightly for boots and bindings, things continue to trend down for boards, which like all snowboard hardgoods, are off substantially from 2008/09 pre-book levels as dealers shift their strategy to focus on at-once orders and further reduce exposure to inventory levels.

Speaking of inventory levels, the reduction in last year’s stocks, and the resulting increase in average sales prices and margins were one of the highlights of last year’s data. Look for this trend to continue and average prices to continue to move in a positive direction.

Having the correct inventory is key for any retailer, as well as the correct production numbers for manufacturers. Here’s a look at the top selling boards of the 2009/10 season at SIA’s retailers.

*Note: These are arranged alphabetically.
We’ve all been hearing tales of retailers vanishing across the country due to the economy and increased market pressures. SIA  took a look at how many retailers are left standing and the results are interesting. Last year, 173 retailers that sold ski or snowboard gear went out of business, but 185 doors opened to take their place. What’s more telling is that 103 managements went under while 65 opened, which translates to more doors out there owned by fewer players, i.e. there are less mom and pop shops and more chains.
All of these stats present different pictures depending on your role in the industry. Here’s SIA’s take on the forecast for the various sectors of the marketplace.
Story by Mike Lewis Transworld Business

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