Outdoor Industry Positioned for Positive 2014/2015 Winter Season Results, NPD Group Reports

 Increases in Average Retail Price Contributes to Revenue Growth

Port Washington, NY, March 17, 2015 – The U.S. outdoor industry’s winter categories—outerwear, boots, hats, gloves, and cold weather undergarments—grew in terms of dollar sales in 2014, showing strong momentum heading into 2015 and the latter portion of the winter season, according to global information company The NPD Group.

“During winter, necessity and Mother Nature have been playing in the industry’s favor. The wintry end to 2013 cleaned up inventories for brands and retailers, causing the industry to start the season with entirely fresh stocks in 2014, a situation we haven’t seen in a number of years. On top of that, a seasonably cold November drove big gains that held through the end of 2014,” said Matt Powell, sports industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Today, consumers shopping in the outdoor space typically make purchases based on need in the here-and-now, rather than anticipation for what they may use and require during the season to come. This is important for outdoor retailers to keep in mind as they determine promotions and stock their shelves.”

Dollar sales growth within the outdoor winter categories was impacted by increases in average retail selling prices, with the greatest increase coming from base layer products and other cold weather undergarments.

“Necessity prompts purchases, but it is innovation, including improvements in fabrics, that’s driving average selling prices and, in some cases, unit sales as well,” added Powell. “The outdoor industry is staying ahead and performing strongly in this way. Retailers and manufacturers must continue their pursuit for ways to keep the industry fresh, because this will help keep their sales on the plus side, even if Mother Nature hands us a milder winter.”

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / ASSG, Outdoor Specialty, and Sport Specialty Ecommerce, January-December 2014

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