Last month the Label Networks story that got picked up fastest, especially by subscribers, was our report on the health of the action sports industry looking through 9 years of our data, analysis, and forecasts, called “The Decline of the Action Sports Lifestyle–A Wake-up Call to An Industry That Still Thinks It’s Hot.” Now with Pacific Sunwear’s Q3 results just posted, November 16, it’s really not that unexpected -and not just because the economy has been sour for the last 2 years.

Ending the quarter October 31, Pacific Sunwear, one of the largest retailer chains to carry a large percentage of action sports-inspired brands, announced that revenue fell 17% to $268.3 million from $323.6 million in the same quarter last year. Sales at same stores, meaning not counting any new store openings, fell at least 18%.

According to the AP, PacSun said that they had seen a “precipitous decline across both genders.” Based on our youth culture data and the brands carried by PacSun, plus changes in perceptions, styles, spending patterns, and several other things, we can quantify what brands, where, when, and how, including the retailer itself, stacks up to others across a range of youth demographics. As we’ve always said, it’s important to look at consumer insights data for trends and forecasts vs. just retailer sales data, which is basically like looking at the past instead of the future. No matter how much spin is added to the equation, when it comes to youth culture today, trends come from the bottom-up, not top down. Which makes consumer data more important than ever.

Unfortunately, PacSun’s 4th quarter forecasts are also down with expectations for same store sales to drop at least 20%, which is stating a lot when you consider that Q4 usually includes the Holiday season.

H&M Up 7%
Meanwhile, fast-fashion retailer H&M reported an increase in overall revenue by 7% for Q3. Sales in Scandinavia, Central Europe and Asia were very satisfactory while most other markets, primarily France, Spain and the US, had a continued weak sales develop