Sales of outdoor products increased 2.6 percent in fiscal July to $810.3 million, according to the latest monthly sales report from OIA. Outdoor hardgoods continued its solid sales trend, and apparel sales posted a strong increase, show the figures, while footwear struggled once again.
Meanwhile, The National Accounts Internet and Discount/Mass trade channels again provided the strongest growth in outdoor product sales, but Specialty Internet also increased for the four-week period ended Aug. 3, 2013. By comparison, July retail sales overall (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from June and increased 5.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year, says the National Retail Federation.
Outdoor apparel sales increased 9.5 percent to $152.4 million for the month, a noticeable acceleration from June’s 1.9 percent increase. The growth in apparel was driven primarily by increases in outerwear sales — much of it pre-season liquidation — and, to a lesser extent, raingear and sportswear, says OIA. Sales of outdoor active bottoms remained weak for the month, especially outdoor active shorts.
Outdoor footwear sales posted a steeper decline in July versus the recent trend, down 12.4 percent to $190.0 million for the four-week month. Most outdoor footwear categories declined for the month, with the exception of technical hiking shoes, which was the only primary category to post positive growth.
Hardgoods increased 7.9 percent to $467.9 million, a similar level of growth seen in fiscal June. Most hardgoods categories increased over the comparable month last year, with the exception of the trailers/racks category, which declined in the mid-single-digits, say OIA sales figures. Sales of camping equipment, one of the largest segments within outdoor hardgoods, maintained a strong growth rate for the month.
The National Accounts Internet and Discount/Mass channels continued to gain share of outdoor product sales for the month. National Accounts Internet accounted for 7.8 percent of all Outdoor Product sales while Discount/Mass Retailers accounted for 7.1 percent of the channel sales tracked by SportScanInfo for OIA VantagePoint™ (each up from 6.0 percent in July 2012). Specialty Internet also gained share for the month to account for 6.3 percent of sales, up from 5.5 percent in July 2012.