Athletic apparel and footwear weekly POS data has been volatile the past two weeks. It’s not off the chart positive, nor is it negative. But anytime volatility creeps into the equation on these metrics, we always take a closer look. Monthly numbers due out tonight will tell us a lot. Stay tuned.
Here are a few key callouts from the week:
- Athletic specialty retailers slowed on the margin while the mass/discount channel outperformed both family and athletic specialty for the second time in three weeks for the first time since January.
- ASPs increases remain above 5% in athletic apparel – a positive for margins and DKS, HIBB, FL and FINL, but…
- … footwear ASPs are down for the fourth consecutive week. We suspect this is primarily due to BOGO driven holiday sales activity (now included in the sample data) as well as a modest increase in promotional activity during the wettest April in 20-years. This will be an important factor to watch in the coming weeks as we expect positive price increases to reflect demand.
- Adidas continues to outperform peers in apparel up +31% with Under Armour and VF (The North Face) up +17% and +10% respectively and all three gaining share on the week reflecting Adidas’ continued focus and success in the family channel. Interestingly, Nike market share declined as the brand sequentially increased prices while most peers dialed back pricing resulting in a more modest sales performance.
- Running Apparel again topped category performance on the week up +43% with all performance t-shirts (+29%) the other callout to the upside.
- Adidas also outperformed in footwear on the week up 23% with technical running brands (Saucony, Brooks, and Asics) all up over +5% as well.
- Nike +330bps and Adidas +116bps remain the primary share gainers primarily at the expense of Skechers’ toning induced decline. We’d also highlight that several summer 2011 Brand Jordan styles were released earlier this year in April ahead of the holiday pulling brand sales forward.