REI Reports Increased Demand for Winter Gear
Early season demand for winter gear is booming at outdoor retailer REI, the company said Wednesday.
The pandemic has driven robust sales in outdoor equipment categories, and snow companies are hoping the trends continue for the winter.
Sales of cross country skis and snowshoes are running three to four times above last year’s numbers, REI said.
The company is also seeing increases in entry level winter gear, which is similar to what many surf shops saw this summer with demand for soft top surfboards.
The snow industry has the potential to see a big jump in participation similar to what surf and skate has experienced during the pandemic.
Sports Marketing Surveys estimates that the industry has added two million new skateboarders and three million new surfers this year.
REI shoppers are also buying more insulated boots and winter hiking gear, the company said. In apparel, REI is seeing increased interest in base layers, mid-layers, and outerwear.
The interesting question will be whether the demand is mostly for equipment that can be used outside of resorts. If resorts are able to operate safely and stay open this winter, snowboards and downhill skis may also become hot sellers.