US sales of outdoor equipment slump as consumer habits shift

US sales of outdoor equipment slump as consumer habits shift
A ski boot appears on a display at the Salomon booth at the opening of the Outdoor Retailers and Snow Show in the Colorado Convention Center, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Denver. Three floors of all the latest products for outdoor use makes the event the largest U.S. trade show for the outdoor and winter sports industries that represent $887 billion in sales. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — The outdoor gear industry has brought its biggest winter marketplace to Denver as it faces slipping sales and shifting U.S. consumer habits.

About 1,000 manufacturers are showing new products to 11,000 retail buyers at the Outdoor Retailer and Snow Show, which opened Thursday and runs through Sunday.

Industry retail sales totaled .9 billion from December 2016 through November 2017, down 6 percent from the previous 12 months. The figures are from NPD Group, a market research company that tracks trends in two dozen industries.

Matt Powell of NPD says one factor in the decline is changing consumer preferences, driven by millennials.

He says millennials are less likely than the previous generation to demand outdoor gear that stands up to extreme conditions and want things that are more versatile.