Outdoor retail sales rose a significant 9% over August 2012, to $504 million, according to the latest figures from Leisure Trends Group. All three channels grew, ranging from specialty’s 4% increase to internet retailers’ 23% surge.
Specialty stores in the Northeast did particularly well, rising 20%. But specialty retailers in the South saw August dollars shrink 7% compared to last year.
The August numbers keep an expanding 2013 right on track. Year-to-date growth through August stands at 8%. All three channels showed growth through the first eight months, but only internet is in double digits, at 16%.
Enthusiasm for the overall growth must be tempered somewhat by the fact that some retailers use the “4-5-4” retail calendar, says Leisure Trends. Those businesses booked a portion of this year’s Labor Day Weekend sales as August revenue, whereas the 4-5-4 calendar placed the entire weekend in September last year. “However, the calendar mismatch would not cause a discrepancy nearly as large as 9%, so most of that growth is real and not a trick of the calendar,” says the research company.