The data point comes from the ‘State of the Trade 2011 – Interim Report’, which builds on a groundbreaking report covering the 2008 to 2010 period published by EOG last year. New partners in 2011 report include Jack Wolfskin, Petzl, La Sportiva and Original Buff. The success of the project last year and the participation this year of over 100 brands have made the data collated and analyzed even more reliable.
“Just three short years ago there was no such thing as a reliable numerical overview of the European outdoor industry,” said Mark Held, EOG Secretary General. “And so, with the help of both our membership and the wider industry, we set about developing a basic research program that would satisfy the brands’ demands for financial data to underpin business decision making. We must never forget that what we collectively achieved was the first ever empirical study that was not based on Retail Panel studies. The fact that data was supplied by the brands in a way that was 100% confidential marks this program out as different and one that can be trusted by even the largest corporation.”
EOG President David Udberg noted, “The combination of uncertainty in the Eurozone, wider economic concerns and unseasonal weather patterns has affected retail sell-through all over Europe and makes more precise comments at this stage of the report basically impossible.” Following the forthcoming peer review, sell-through effects will be clearer by the time the full report is published. What is apparent across the market is the greater competition for market share linked to changing distribution patterns, changes in consumer expectations and evolving buying habits.
EOG Vice-President Bernd Kullmann, CEO of Deuter Sport, observed, “Participation in outdoor sports is an ongoing trend so the outlook overall is positive but, looking at the actual potential for the market, we have to face a harsh reality. The regions that are strongest commercially are saturated with product and companies are paying a high price to gain market share and deliver growth. As an industry, we should be making realistic assessments and try to build a decent but solid growth instead of trying to break records while losing sight of the real strength of market demand.”
The 2011 figures confirm this picture; just looking at the pure sell-in figures and not considering inflation (EU average of 3.1% – Source: Eurostat) and currency developments, 2011 was a successful year for the sector and, in the current economic situation, proof that Outdoor is far more than a trend.
Wholesale growth for the European Outdoor Market: 2010-2011*
- Less than 5 percent: Benelux, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, UK & Ireland
- 5-9 percent: Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland
- More than 9 percent: Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Sweden.
“Two bad winter seasons and the Euro crisis really hit our sector," said EOG board member and Mammut CEO Rolf Schmid. "The real power of those effects cannot be shown in this wholesale-driven report yet, but full warehouses on both the wholesale and retail sides and an ongoing Euro crisis will have a significant effect on brands in 2012 and put them under pressure until the Euro crisis is solved and stock decreases.”
The full report, spanning the period 2009-2011 and including detailed country and category specific figures on volumes and values, will be published later this year but early analysis of the sales figures (supplied on a 100% confidential basis) allows the following key percentages to be shared with the whole industry. It is important to stress that participation is open to all relevant brands and is not restricted in any way to EOG members.
Full details of the unique report on the size and composition of the outdoor markets in terms of wholesale value and volume across 22 European countries and key product categories will be distributed only to participating brands. However, this information gives a clear indication of the relationships between countries and categories in the outdoor market. Please note the guidelines of use of the copyrighted material.
*Please note: Inflation is a key element to be borne in mind when interpreting the data as this was not taken into account. Eurostat (for a complete overview, please refer to www.epp.euorstat.ec.europa.eu) estimates the inflation rate in the European Union at 3.1 %; certain countries, such as the United Kingdom, are even estimated at 4.5%. Comparing 2010 to 2011, currency fluctuations have also played an important role. In particular, growth shown in year to year comparison in euros non-Euro countries might be a result of this (all participating brands were requested to supply country and product category values in Euros appropriate to the year and season.).