Latest European Outdoor Group trade data indicates strong growth in 2021

New figures from the European Outdoor Group’s (EOG) State of Trade market research programme indicate that the outdoor sector has bounced back strongly following the height of the COVID pandemic. Sell-in figures for 2021 reveal that the wholesale value of the key product categories in the industry topped €6bn for the first time, while the volume of units sold during the year has been calculated at 240 million. The EOG State of Trade report covers products sold by over 100 outdoor companies in Europe in the apparel, footwear and hardware markets, and also includes outdoor sell-in figures from multisport/lifestyle brands. The report includes data in seven main categories and 48 separate sub-categories.

Overall, many businesses reported high double digit growth in 2021, with an average of +18.7% in value overall for European markets when comparing 2021 to 2020, and +18.2 % in units. There was also significant growth compared to pre-pandemic 2019, of +7.5% in value and +5.3% in units.

In 2021, the total wholesale value of every product category covered by State of Trade was €6.2bn. This is the first time that the overall State of Trade value figure has been higher than €6bn. Each of the individual product categories experienced growth during the year. 

The strongest growth was recorded in apparel and footwear, both up by 20%, representing an excellent recovery, as the two categories registered the biggest declines in 2020. Tents and outdoor accessories continued to perform well, due to sustained strong consumer demand for activities such as camping. These markets were also affected less in 2020 as some countries allowed travelling within borders, and citizens took to the holidaying at home ‘staycation’ trend.

Regionally, all countries recovered during 2021, but the UK, Austria, and southern and eastern regions all outperformed the average growth in the market. Looking at the three largest markets, which makeup 50% of the total value of the European outdoor sector, there were variations in how the recovery developed for each. The UK and France outperformed the overall industry average, while Germany lagged slightly, although still registered growth.

In addition to its annual State of Trade European sell-in report, the EOG can also draw on retail development data trends from the Outdoor Retail Benchmark Report. The report is a like-for-like analysis of the aggregated sales development of the EOG retail members, and as such currently reflects the German market. The performance of retail sell-out was up 17.4% year to date to April 2022, compared to the same period last year for the outdoor segment.

Pauline Shepherd, EOG head of market insights, comments: “It is clear that the outdoor sector has excellent underlying resilience. In 2021, this allowed brands to benefit from the public’s increased appetite for getting out into nature, which was prompted by lockdowns around Europe. Our industry adapted very well to rapidly changing circumstances and overall, reaped the rewards as restrictions eased. Sustaining that boom in participation will be tough and along with ongoing supply chain issues and the increasing cost of living, we know that businesses face some significant challenges this year and beyond. However, the outdoor sector is fundamentally in robust shape, and can meet those challenges from a position of relative strength.

“Along with colleagues at the European Outdoor Group, I look forward to talking to the trade in person again during the first OutDoor by ISPO since 2019. It will be an excellent opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the market development from the companies that have helped deliver the growth, and hear different perspectives from around Europe about the current state of play and expectations for the future.”

The EOG has thanked its market data partners for their high level of service in helping to deliver the industry data – infacta for State of Trade  ( and hachmeister + partner for the Outdoor Retail Benchmark Report (

Pauline Shepherd will be at the MOC throughout OutDoor by ISPO and will present more insights from State of Trade 2021 at 13:30 CET on Sunday 12 June (Room:A41.F106 - EOG Event Room), as part of a full schedule of EOG events at the show, including daily market research sessions – find out more HERE. Pauline is keen to meet colleagues from the industry, both at the show and afterwards, to discuss State of Trade and the EOG’s other market research projects. To make an appointment, send an email to

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