Outdoor units last month plunged 12% compared to September 2012, dragging dollars down 5% to $447 million, according to Leisure Trends latest results. Every major category saw units drop at least 8%. The 7% average retail-selling price increase kept dollar contractions in the single digits, says the research firm.
All three channels endured double-digit unit declines, and only online retailers eked out a dollar increase of 2%. Chain and specialty dollars fell 6% and 9%, respectively. Internet footwear’s 14% unit gain was the only category increase in any channel. The Internet also provided the only category dollar gains, with online apparel and footwear rising 8% and 14%, respectively.
Across the total outdoor industry, no category gained units or dollars. Equipment accessories were hardest hit, shrinking 14% in units and 10% in dollars. Camp accessories fell $7.5M and accounted for 59% of accessories’ declines. Fourteen of the 15 camp accessory subcategories dropped in both units and dollars, says Leisure Trends.
The 14.3 million units sold industry-wide this September were the fewest since 2009. Each major category posted three- or four-year unit lows for September.
Year-to-date units remained flat to 2012, while dollars climbed 6% to $4.7 billion, the most ever for the first three quarters.
The 4-5-4 calendar that some retailers use accounts for a portion of September’s declines, says Leisure Trends. That calendar placed the first two days of Labor Day Weekend in August this year, whereas the entire weekend, plus the busy final week of August, fell into September last year. Combining this August and September and comparing to the same months in 2012, units fell 5% and dollars gained 2%.