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Thursday November 17, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

An industry survey shows falling sales on the High Street as tough trading conditions affect the market, but there are signs of hope.

The report comes from Snowsport Industries of Great Britain (SIGB) which is the trade association for skiing and snowboarding.

SIGB has 166 member organisations from the retail, supplier and travel sectors. 

The 2015-16 annual UK Snowsport Hardware Market Survey has been published, showing that with tough trading conditions on both the high street and online, there has been a decline in ski and snowboard hardware sales.

"We can take hope from the fact that the figures, although declining, have flattened compared to earlier this decade. The SIGB is working hard to try and buck this trend, as well as continuing to spread the word about the benefits of buying in the UK," SIGB's president, Sam Noble, said.

And here we have the rundown.

The five main points of the report:

1. Tough trading conditions continue to have an impact on ski & snowboard hardware sales but boost expected as buying in Europe becomes more expensive

The weather (both in the UK and in resort) may also be an effect, along with exchange rate volatility, airline carriage charges and the growth of offshore web sales.

The uncertainty of Brexit and a maturing participation base, adds to the list of external factors facing the snowsport industry.

2. Ski boots continue to be the strongest selling item of hardware

Snowboard boot sales have declined by a total of 3% over the past two years.

Overall ski sales dropped 6%, whilst snowboard sales dropped 13%.

Despite these figures, the small decline in ski boot sales at just 1% is a clear indication of the attraction of buying good fitting boots.

Boot fittingPlanetSKI knows that a good boot fit is essential
















3. A growth in junior snowboard hardware sales (Snowboards 48% up and boots 14% up)

4. Sales of female specific ski kit continues to grow year on year (Skis 8% up, boots 5% up)

5. It is now cheaper to buy snowsport kit in the UK than in Europe

This is a key message of SIGB's Go UK Buy UK campaign, which was launched in September 2015 and aimed at encouraging skiers and snowboarders to buy their kit on home soil.

Ski wear specialist retailer and expert boot fitter Ellis Brigham has been on top of this factor for a while.

"We placed our orders and fixed our prices before Brexit, meaning that we're now significantly cheaper than any of the European competition, and North America," said the head ski buyer for Ellis Brigham, Steve Wells.

"Not only that, but the UK snowsports industry has had some tough years meaning only the best companies remain, so skiers and snowboarders can be sure they're buying from dedicated specialists who supply the best information and products, from the keenest staff, all backed up with easy to access warranties," he added.

A selection of Ellis Brigham skisA selection of Ellis Brigham skis
















Read more here of what PlanetSKI says about buying gear in the UK.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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