November outdoor sales jumped 11% over the same month last year, to $599 million, according to the latest from Leisure Trends. In a hopeful sign for a strong December finish, the industry soared to its best November ever, beating the other three post-recession years’ average of $517 million by 16%. Units climbed 8% over last November and average retail-selling prices increased 3%.
Every outdoor distribution channel tracked by Leisure Trends grew both units and dollars. Internet led with 14% growth in both measures. Chain and specialty dollars each gained 11%.
“After unit declines in six of the last seven months, and flat to decreased dollars this fall, these November results are a big lift for the outdoor business,” said Leisure Trends Analyst and Account Specialist Tom Jones. “It is particularly promising to see consistent positive results across all store types and all product categories.”
Units and dollars grew at least 6% over November 2012 in each of the four major product categories of equipment, apparel, footwear and equipment accessories. Both equipment and apparel dollars surged 13%, to $379 million and $52 million, respectively. Footwear and equipment accessory dollars rose 6% and 10%, respectively, to $83 million and $85 million.
Year-to-date outdoor dollars grew 6% compared to the same period last year to reach $5.7 billion. Units shifted from slightly down through October to slightly up (+0.4%) through November. The online channel continued to be the primary growth engine year-to-date, with dollars up 14% and units rising 5%. Chain units and dollars grew 1% and 4%, respectively. Specialty units shrank 3% but dollars managed to climb 3%.
Internet retailers increased their share of dollars from 23% to 25% year-to-date, pulling one point from each of the other two channels. Chain stores fell from 42% to 41% share while specialty dropped from 35% to 34%.