December ’09 Paddlesports Sales Up 4% over ’08

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Despite a tumultuous year, one that saw Paddler magazine cease and/or suspend publication and Johnson Watercraft close its Ferndal, Wash., operation to consolidate manufacturing in Old Town, Maine, paddlesports retailers ended the year on a strong note, seeing December 2009 sales increase 4 percent over December 2008’s level (source: Boulder, Colo.’s Leisure Trends Group). Still, before you clap your paddles together in celebration – as if your paddle raft team just successfully navigated a rapid — this increase is offset by a 7 percent decline over the entire year.

Compared to December 2008, LTG’s RetailTRAK™ lists the following paddlesports category changes in dollar sales by channel:

All Specialty dollar sales up 5%
• Specialty boat dollar sales +7%
• Specialty paddle dollar sales -2%
• Specialty accessory dollar sales +9%
• Specialty apparel dollar sales -7%
All Chain dollar sales up 5%
• Chain boat dollar sales FLAT
• Chain paddle dollar sales +11%
• Chain accessory dollar sales +6%
• Chain apparel dollar sales +13%
All Internet dollar sales down 3%
• Internet boat dollar sales +35%
• Internet paddle dollar sales -30%
• Internet accessory dollar sales +5%
• Internet apparel dollar sales -49%

Leisure Trends Group tracks point-of-sale data from paddle specialty stores, chain and internet merchants, all categories sold, down to the detail including brand and model share, category sales and growth, and fastest growing brands and categories. Its RetailTRAK™ (a monthly retail sales tracking service) provides information about what’s selling at retail.

“Our data provides insight into the strengths and weaknesses of brands and helps companies spot opportunities in the competitive marketplace,” says Leisure Trends’ Scott Jaeger. “Understanding retail sales trends is essential to market share growth. Our reports tell you which categories, brands and styles are expanding, which are sitting still and which are shrinking. The reports are published monthly and include brands, styles, price points, dollars sold, units sold, market share and in specialty stores- margins, turns and inventory.”

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