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Outdoor Sales Up: Online Purchases Fuel Double Digit Increases in June

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Boulder, CO – Sales data from Leisure Trends’ Outdoor RetailTRAK™ reports June sales up 13% in the outdoor segment (outdoor chains, outdoor specialty and online), signaling the fifth straight month of positive retail sales this year.

Online sales are fueling growth, gaining almost 50% in dollars sold compared to June 2009 and accounting for 22% of June sales in the outdoor channel, up from 17% last June and 14% in June 2007. Outdoor chains gain 11% and outdoor specialty stores hold ground with flat sales for the period.

“While growth is positive for outdoor overall, the core specialty retailers are not doing nearly as well as the internet and chain channels this year,” comments Jason Gee, Managing Director of Retail Sales Tracking for LTG. Outdoor specialty saw double-digit gains during the early months of 2010, but growth is slowing through the spring and early summer. Categories such as recreation tents, packs, camp accessories and footwear have sold well but other categories, like apparel, are suffering in specialty. Gee continues, “Retailers have tightened their belts and inventory levels are down nearly 10% for the specialty channel as a whole at the end of June.”

In all three channels, footwear is the big story this year – hiking boots, winter boots, trail running shoes, multisport shoes and sandals are all easily outperforming 2009. Specialty retailers are banking on those sales to continue into back-to-school and beyond as their footwear inventory levels are up nearly across the board at the end of June.

While there are still several weeks to go until the close of July, the month is off to a good start. The 4th of July weekend gave specialty retailers a boost; they report retail sales up significantly compared to last year. However, outdoor specialty retailers aren’t as optimistic when asked about their outlook for the remainder of the summer, whereas bike, paddle sports and running stores remain bullish.

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