The July trend built upon a 3.2 percent gain in June thanks to strong holiday sales early in the month, though sales tapered off in the third and fourth weeks of the four-week July period.
Specialty sales grew 7.8 percent, led by a nearly 20 percent increase in the Specialty Internet channel. Online sales represented 13.5 percent of total specialty sales for the month ended July 28, 2012.
Outdoor Hardgoods sales increased 5.4 percent to $444.7 million on impressive gains in Bicycling and Paddlesports sales. Paddlesports growth was particularly robust (+22.4 percent) on double-digit increases in most Kayak categories and triple-digits gains in Stand Up Paddling.
Outdoor Footwear sales ticked up 4.1 percent to $220.7 million in July, an improvement over anemic growth in June. Footwear got a lift from the resurgent Trailing Running and Sandals categories and on continued strength in Technical Hiking and Casual Outdoor Footwear. This increased growth was offset by steeper declines in Barefoot Footwear and Light Hiking.
Outdoor Apparel inched up just 1.3 percent to $147.3 million in fiscal July, the weakest growth trend for the year-to-date period. Sales were down across most key categories, although Outerwear, Active Bottoms and Apparel Accessories each posted double-digit gains for the four-week month.
OIA VantagePoint is the first and only full market point-of-sale data platform built specifically for the outdoor industry. Available at no charge to Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) members, it provides comprehensive visibility into the outdoor marketplace by tracking weekly point‐of‐sale data from more than 10,000 retail doors and websites that carry outdoor products, including nearly 450 outdoor specialty locations.
OIA members can access the OIA VantagePoint monthly trend report by logging on to outdoorindustry.org/vantagepoint.