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OIA: Outdoor product sales flat in October, but bikes up

Published November 14, 2013

BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — The Outdoor Industry Association is reporting flat sales of outdoor products last month compared withthe same month last year. However, the OIA said sales of bikes and bike equipment through sportings goods retailers increased during the month.

The OIA did not publicly release details of the bike category sales shown in its regular VantagePoint statistical report, which is based on point-of-sale data from more than 10,000 retail storefronts and websites that carry outdoor products, including nearly 450 specialty locations. The detailed VantagePoint data is available to OIA members.

The OIA however, does release big picture data from VantagePoint, and for October the data showed a sales increase of 0.3 percent. Increases came in the Outdoor Apparel category, as well as in the OIA's bike, lifestyle/travel, technical packs and bags, sunglasses and fly fishing categories.

Outdoor hardgoods sales were flat in October, in part because October 2012's Superstorm Sandy drove sales in that category — which includes sales of lanterns/lighting products, stoves, coolers, water containers, tents/shelters, and sleeping bags. Not surprisingly, outdoor raingear sales were strong in October 2012. 

October 2013 sales may have been affected by the federal government, noted OIA's Christie Hickman, vice president of market insights.

“While October sales numbers overall did not appear to take a hit, major retailers reported troubling declines in store traffic,” said Hickman. “Additionally, businesses located in national park gateway communities reported unusual losses in revenue during the two-week shutdown. We expect to see ripple effects in the long-term resulting from the government shutdown.”

As for retail channel, the OIA reported that "Specialty Internet, National Accounts Internet, and Sporting Goods channels gained share of outdoor product sales." The report said brick-and-mortar sporting goods retailers accounted for 32.6 percent of sales last month, down from 30.8 percent in October 2012.

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