Sales of Outdoor Products declined 1.7 percent in fiscal May to $828.9 million, the first decline in overall sales so far this year, according to the latest monthly sales report from OIA. Hardgoods continued its solid sales growth for the month, while footwear and apparel sales struggled as weather brought continued uncertainty in consumer’s outdoor spending, says OIA.
The National Accounts Internet and Discount/Mass trade channels once again provided the strongest growth.
Similar to the declines seen in fiscal April, outdoor apparel sales fell 3.3 percent to $162.8 million for the four-week period ended June 1, 2013. Continued weakness in apparel sales was driven primarily by declines in activewear, sportswear bottoms, socks and undergarments. Outerwear and raingear saw slight increases.
Outdoor footwear sales continued the negative trend from last month, down 9.2 percent in May to $224.4 million. Most footwear categories declined, particularly outdoor sandals, which continued to lose ground, a trend that runs counter to what is expected this time of year. On a more positive note, technical hiking and trail shoes posted positive single-digit growth for the month.
Sales of hardgoods increased 3.3 percent to $441.6 million, moderating from the year-to-date trends but still showing solid growth. Most hardgoods categories increased over the comparable month last year. Sales of overall camping equipment started to pick up, although the tents and shelters category continued to lag. In a shift from strong growth so far this year, bicycles and cycling products showed a slight decline in May.
The National Accounts Internet and Discount/Mass channels continue to gain share of Outdoor Product sales. National Accounts Internet accounted for 8.1 percent of all Outdoor Product sales (up from 5.2 percent in May 2012) while Discount/Mass Retailers accounted for 4.3 percent of sales (up from 3.1 percent in May 2012).