Out gear testing and skiing today, I couldn’t help noticing more people around (though we had room for everyone). Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) industry sales report (year’s end 2008) tidbits came in from a reader, here are a couple excerpts and a take by an industry insider. You might like seeing growth in backcountry skiing, you might not. Check out the facts and laugh or weep depending on your persuasion.
* “Backcountry equipment, consisting of skins, probes, shovels, beacons and accessories brought in $6.8M for the year . The category grew 22% in units and 19% in dollars.”
* “Randonee/ AT boots, bindings and skis sold $2M altogether and increased sales by 5% in units and 11% in dollars over 2007.”
Insider says something like this: “The worst category was sandals. We saw that coming a mile away. Retailers were filling their walls with every kind of sandal – simple/earthy sandals, dress sandals, travel sandals, hiking sandals, biking sandals, Dynafit-compatible AT sandals. We were losing shelf space to sandals. It makes me a bit optimistic for 2010. People need durable, functional gear and we CAN provide that.”