Another lackluster week for sports apparel. Is it 'less bad' than the horrific performance two weeks ago? Yes. But I don't like the composition of the numbers. Specifically, we're seeing a 12-20% gap in dollars vs. units in each of the past three weeks. In other words, prices are holding up, but without traffic and units coming through in the end, both prices and units will fall. That's a bad bad margin event. The weakness appears to be disproportionately in the family/mass segment, and weakness in the athletic specialty channel is driven more by urban specialty stores than full line sporting goods.
These numbers come from SportscanINFO. Did anyone notice that FINL and FL meaningfully underperformed this week? There's no doubt in my mind that someone had these numbers early. How's that for integrity and transparency?
I do not usually put much stock in weekly numbers, but I'm very interested to see the NPD footwear data that comes out later today in order to gauge the bigger picture.