Although initially delayed due to unseasonably warm weather, business this winter has now started up in full swing, and John Jansen looked rather pleased at the European Outdoor Group’s (EOG) press conference. “We had a challenging year but the industry still grew. This is good news,” said the EOG president on ISPO MUNICH’s opening day.
85 percent of the 50 EOG companies surveyed said they experienced a sales growth of at least 2.5 percent in 2015. They believe consumers are willing to pay more for innovative products. One important driver of sales is said to be the “sexy lumberjack” look – earthy men’s clothing for lumberjack types.
The EOG’s figures for the current 2015/2016 winter season are just as positive: 64 percent of participating members expected increased sales compared to the winter of 2014/2015.
And this comes despite the challenges posed by unfavorable exchange rate developments, which places pressure on prices for end consumers. And the outdoor brands and retailers represented by the EOG are predicting growth in the industry for 2016 as a whole: 75 percent are expecting an increase in sales compared to 2015.
The outdoor segment plays a prominent role at ISPO MUNICH as well. 50 new exhibitors will be attending this year’s leading sporting goods industry trade fair, where an even greater focus will be cast on the outdoor segment thanks to the revamped hall layout.
“Outdoor is considered an established mega-trend. Our goal this year is to create new synergies and win over new target groups, for example by taking advantage of physical proximity to skiing,” said Klaus Dittrich. The head of the Munich trade fair praised the close cooperation with the EOG and their common goal of helping the industry continue to grow.
Without doubt, the character of the outdoor industry is based on increased cooperation by all involved. Since retailers have been given the opportunity to join along with brands for more than a year now (15 major retailers are now members), suppliers like Gore-Tex can now become members of the EOG. This was decided at the annual members meeting prior to ISPO MUNICH.
“This allows the EOG to speak with an even stronger voice and promote cooperation with the European Commission,” says Jansen. Andrus Ansip, Vice President of the European Commission and Commission Vice President for the Digital Single Market, will also be attending ISPO MUNICH.
Other important items on the agenda at the EOG meeting were the development of a sustainabilitycharter and focusing on the younger generation of future customers.
“The campaigns we are running under the heading of #itsgreatoutthere are our most important project. Kids aged between 10 and 15 are defining what the outdoors means to them.
The industry simply has to get kids outside. These are our future customers,” said Jansen. EOG members are planning to organize at least 400 events in 2016 to get kids out into nature and the snow.