OUTDOOR INDUSTRY MAKES POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION TO EUROPEAN ECONOMY
The European outdoor market has enjoyed substantial growth for many years and, in many areas, this has been regarded as an ongoing norm despite wider economic concerns. With conservative calculations from the wholesale data supplied to the European Outdoor Group (EOG) indicating that the annual industry turnover at retail still exceeds €10billion, despite changeable weather and the variable fortunes of economies, it is apparent that the outdoor market will continue to make an important contribution to the European economy.
Funded by the EOG, the ‘State of the Trade Report 2011’ builds on the innovative, authoritative first report, published in 2010 covering the period 2008-2010, and highlights trends developing in the European outdoor market. The value of the ground-breaking project in delivering a unique consideration of European market developments and the participation in the current report of over 100 brands have made the data collated and analysed even more reliable. It is important to stress that participation is open to all relevant brands and is not restricted in any way only to EOG members.
Mark Held, EOG Secretary General, said, “Until recently, there was no such thing as a reliable statistical overview of the European outdoor industry, collectively and by countries and product sectors. With the help of our membership and the wider industry, we set about developing a research programme 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 programme out as different and one that can be trusted by even the largest corporation.”
EOG President David Udberg notes in his Introduction to the Report, “As the outdoor sector grows and matures, it is more important than ever that businesses have access to good, in-depth, robust and reliable market data. Reliable and detailed information can be an invaluable strategic planning resource.”
The full report, spanning the period 2009-2011 and including detailed country and category specific figures on volumes and values, was published in printed form at the end of last year.
Despite the fact that it is still too early to make an industry-wide prognosis on developments in 2012, major players have indicated that moderate growth was again achieved overall in 2012. Looking forward, the overall outlook in the industry is cautiously optimistic as summed up by Bernd Kullmann, General Manager of Deuter Sport, “After years of rapid growth, sales have slowed down in the past 18 months. Aside from financial pressures and high unemployment rates, the changeable and unpredicted weather was the main reason. But let’s keep in mind the growth rates over the past years; outdoor activities became the biggest sector in the sports market. Let’s motivate our clients with innovation and brilliant design and not with big discounts. The passion for outdoor sport will not decrease, people living in urban environments will continue to want this type of recreation in the future.”
Andy Schimeck, Managing Director of Marmot Mountain Europe, added, “2012 has been an interesting year for the outdoor market. While the whole industry was facing amazing growth rates in the past, this year the growth pace slowed down considerably, mainly due to an unsatisfying winter season. However, we should keep in mind that we are still on a very high level. The interest in outdoor sports is still increasing, not least due to a rising awareness about the health aspects of outdoor sports. To be able to benefit from these trends, however, both brands and retailers will have to adapt to a changed market situation and to changing consumption patterns as the importance of new distribution channels will definitely grow.
EOG Marketing and Communications Manager Mathias Basedow added, “Estimations on market development in 2011 varied considerably. Now, having the hard data from more than 100 brands processed for the final report, we can say that, despite a surplus on stock in the market, the State of Trade Report calculated total market growth of approximately 2% in the industry from 2010 to 2011.”
In line with brands’ wishes, future data input and retrieval will be carried out electronically. As well as speeding up the process of data delivery, this will also enable brands to be more selective in the market data recovered and, with the development of product sub-categories, allow access to more specific market information.
The decision of the EOG to support this significant development in European outdoor market research marks a major step forward in access to more detailed information for brands. The challenges involved in meeting the wishes of brands regarding electronic inputting and retrieval of market research data, including brand data security, have been addressed and implementation is well underway.
EUROPEAN OUTDOOR MARKET
Retail value – €10+ billion
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 are distributed only to participating brands. However, the graphics below give an indication of the relationships between countries and categories in the outdoor market. Please note the guidelines of use of the copyrighted material.
Whilst the retail value of the market as a whole can be calculated, precise sell-through
remains an unknown factor until it becomes possible to access retail Point of Sale (POS) data.
That prospect, in Europe, is still some way off but we caution against drawing erroneous
conclusions on the state of play in the market from apparently straightforward data. For example,
sell-in for 2011 was positive but the climate had a detrimental effect on sell-through and led to
a build-up in inventory at the retail level.
Inflation is another key element, which should be considered when interpreting data, as
this was not taken into account; for a complete overview on inflation rates, please refer to
www.epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu which estimates the overall inflation rate in the European
Union at 3.1%.
Whilst all participating brands were requested to supply country and product category values in Euros appropriate to the year and season, currency fluctuations play an important role in trading with particular reference to growth comparisons between Euro and non-Euro countries.
PERMITTED USE OF DATA
Data can be used providing that copyright is attributed fully to the European Outdoor Group.
Brands who did not participate in 2012, and would like to do so going forward, should please get in touch with the EOG (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the end of February 2013 to join the project and share the benefit. Participation is not restricted to EOG members but is open to all relevant brands.
About the EOG
Originally founded in 2003 by nineteen of the world’s largest outdoor companies, the group recognised the need for a cohesive, cross-border approach to representation of the outdoor sector. We live in a world of increasing internationalism, where legislation, environment, the media and trade are all now multinational issues. The combined strength of our member brands, and a close cooperation with national outdoor associations, provides us with an extremely powerful force to represent the European outdoor industry in a constructive and positive manner.