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We were upbeat after May’s(-6.2%) single digit decline on ourActionWatch Oz panel which marked a turnaround from April’s (-19%) double digit decline. However, our panel experienced a further slide into winter, with June closing (-14.8%) across all categories. A three-year analysis of Average $ Sales shows noticeable contraction on our ActionWatch Same Store panel with June 2016 ($84,579.00) June 2017 ($71,764.00) and current June 2019 ($55,695.00). Please note that the ActionWatch ‘Same Store Panel’ is unaffected by the additions of new members or from stores exiting the panel, the Same Store panel is (as the name suggests) the same store data.

Searching for broad category highlights was like trying to find a needle in the haystack, however, diving deeper on the data, Apparel sales(-11.9%)showed Boardshortswere up (+27.9%)YOY. In Accessories (-12;4%) plastic frame Sunglasses were up (+2.3%,) Jewellery up (+4.3%) and Sports Watches up (+7.0%). Duffel Bags are running hot, up (+79.5%). Footwear (-17.4%) was led by Casual Sandals up (+97.4%). Wetsuits (-28.6%) showed Spring Suits up (+104.2%) and Short-Sleeve Full Wetsuits up (+4.5%).The Hardgoods(-15.6%)category was led by Protective Gear (+48%) and Helmets (+36.9%).

On the women’s side, we once again saw growth for Tops in Jackets (+13.1%). In addition, there are signs of strength in Bottoms/Completes with growth in Other Swimwear (+8.6%) and Denim (+12.9%).  In Women’s Accessories we saw growth in Socks(+9.6%Tote Bags (+35%), and Duffel bags (+146.6%)Visors (29.5%) and Plastic FrameSunglasses (38.7%) while Spring Wetsuits (+11.2%), Wetsuit Accessories (+117%), and Rashguards (+71.7%) grew in Women’s Wetsuits. Women’s Footwear categories were led by Shoes (+13.5%), and Casual Shoes (+92.8%) experienced growth compared to the same month last year.

In the men’s categories, we found fewer segments to highlight, but there continues to be pockets of sunshine. For Tops we can again point to Other Shirts (+88.4%),  while Boardshorts (+26.5%) and Other Swimwear (+74.5%) were the only growth categories in Bottoms/Completes. For the first time in quite a while we witnessed growth in Men’s Footwear categories, led by Sports Sandals (+39.8%).  In men’s Accessories the biggest bright spot was Duffel bags (+49.4%) and Shoulder Bags (+66%), while Wetsuit Jackets (+17.6%) Short Sleeve Full Suits (19.3%) Short John Wetsuits (+168.5%) and Spring Wetsuits (+132.9%) led the way in the Wetsuit category.

In June, we saw YoY sales growth in a few additional core hardgoods categories, led by Protective Gear (48%), Helmets (+36.9%), Knee Pads (+145%), Wrist Guards (+336.4%), Elbow Pads(+3%) and Bodyboards (+121.6%)

We hope that these category highlights provide some bright spots to an otherwise lacklustre June on our panel and that the cold start to July is paying dividends for those stores who have managed their stock and inventory wisely. Lastly, we welcome a new (anonymous) retailer to our panel which continues to grow organically as newer retailers gain exclusive access to the ActionWatch data enabled by our partnership with Osipos, Australia’s largest POS supplier to the action sports market.

Until next month, dig into the data and please, if there’s any questions email or call me. I usually aim to reply within 24 hours.

Yours Faithfully

Keith Curtain