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SEEING GREEN: HIGH TIMES FOR SNOWBOARDING AT RETAIL
Published March 5, 1998
Despite slipping retail sales in snow-sports products nationwide last year, "it was snowboarding that heated up sales, while ski sales ... chilled," according to Penny Parker of the DENVER POST. Gart Sports CEO Doug Morton: "Snowboarding is where the business is going." Morton said the fact that "alpine ski heavy-hitters" such as Rossignol, Salomon and K2 have "leaped into snowboard manufacturing is a clear signal of a market shift." Snowboards and snowboard accessories accounted for 60% of all downhill equipment sales at Gart Sports last year, and snowboards were 40% of all hard goods sold chainwide. According to the Skiing Industry Association retail audit from August through December '97, total snow sport product sales dropped 4.7% -- to $1.28B from $1.34B compared to the same period in '96 (Penny Parker, DENVER POST, 3/5). CONSOLIDATE, MAN: SPORTSTYLE's Beth Howard examines consolidation within the snowboard industry. Arbor Snowboards President Bob Carlson said that the 350 companies that were manufacturing snowboard products have been reduced to 100, and "in two years, there will be no more than 40 viable companies producing snowboarding goods." Carlson: "The industry grew so fast and manufacturers expected continued growth. Even though the industry is still growing about [25%] a year, there are more manufacturers than the market can handle" (SPORTSTYLE, 3/98 issue).