Outdoor Product sales for the 2012 period grew a 5.1 percent over the year prior, growing to $11.4 billion, according to the latest figurs from OIA. Sales growth was strongest in the “national accounts Internet” channel (up nearly 26 percent) and the independent outdoors channel (up 13.1 percent) in fiscal 2012.
The month of fiscal January brought overall growth despite a decline in the outdoor footwear business, a category that has been propping up sales recently. Gains in outdoor hardgoods and apparel pushed overall sales up 18.4 percent to $895.1 billion for the fiscal month ended Jan. 26, 2013.
According to OIA, retailers benefitted from good winter weather in many parts of the country as they ramped up promotional events to liquidate seasonal goods in advance of February floor changes to spring goods. Outdoor apparel sales increased 30.2 percent to $429.3 million.
Outdoor hardgoods continued its strong performance with help from snow sports, which had been down in double-digits all year but rose nearly 28 percent in January. Overall hardgoods growth accelerated from its December trend, growing 21.1 percent to $271.6 million in January.
The Outdoor Footwear business was down again in January, but these results were not a clear reflection of the health of core Outdoor Footwear.
The decline of outdoor footwear, meanwhile, was attributed to the mall retailer channel, which posted a 73 percent decrease due primarily to the collapse of the barefoot running category. Overall outdoor footwear sales fell 4 percent to $194.3 million in the fiscal month.
In the first two weeks of fiscal February, outdoor oroduct sales got off to a positive start as apparel and hardgoods both continued double-digit growth.