SnowSports Industries America and The Leisure Trends Group last week released the most recent retail numbers through February 2012. Using data that was collected from the POS (point of sale) systems from more than 1,200 snow sports retailers. Overall, snow sports retail sales were down 12% in the number of units sold and also down 4% in dollars sold, totaling $3.2 billion through the end of February.

Obviously the culprit was the lack of snow for most of the entire United States for much of this past season. Only the Northwest saw good conditions. The big loser in all of this was RENTALS at these retail shops nationwide where there was a decrease of 30% in rental business.

Perhaps an inadvertent winner in this "sad story" will be the consumer who might be looking for deals because inventories at these same stores nationwide saw an increase of up to 42% more products and equipment inventory on the shelf. Cross Country ski equipment saw a 70% increase in inventory at specialty shops.

Retailers are (and will be) scrambling, hustling (or whatever other verb you want to use) to move snow sports gear out of their doors and avoid the physical and financial burden of carrying it over the entire summer.

You can expect to see some pretty SWEET mid-summer deals to move this glut of clothing, equipment and accessories this summer and into the Fall, pre-season. Stay tuned as we’ll make you aware of these kinds of tent sales, etc in the coming month.