Last week was the worst year over year change in sports apparel since July 2008. Everything was down at an alarming rate. Sporting goods retailers fell down by 15%, discount/mass channel declined by 40%, and the recently strong family retailer channel decreased by 10%. I call it like it is, and will VERY rarely pull the weather card. But last week's impact was unmistakable. The average temperature was 6-15 degrees cooler than average across virtually the entire US - with warmer temperatures only in Virginia, Georgia and parts of Texas. I won't even begin to call out the rain, because it rained pretty much everywhere. See weather charts below.
So what does this all mean? While I can explain the week away, it doesn't mean we can ignore the facts - especially given that sales have been weakening since early May, and need to pick up in mid June when seasonal demand should increase. The bottom line is that the June better darn well finish on a great note with some nice pent-up demand, otherwise we're all going to see some GREAT deals on athletic apparel in July. Good for consumers, but bad for the retailers and certain brands.