Closed stores, interrupted supply chains and immensely high order volumes: The past year, dominated by the pandemic, was challenging for the sports industry and its retailers. Now - a good year after the crisis began - most sports manufacturers and industry insiders are breathing a sigh of relief: The scene is slowly recovering from the strains.
Sports manufacturers, brands and retailers suffered the greatest losses due to lockdown strategies in the respective countries of their production and trading locations. Drops of up to 30% compared to 2019 were not uncommon, as Jérôme Pero, FESI Secretary General, revealed during the study.
But despite the major challenges over the past year, the FESI study also reveals: The industry is on the mend. Almost half of all sports companies expect an increase in their turnover.
Two reasons explain the positive upward trend. Firstly, the keyword is e-commerce. During the global pandemic and the lockdowns in Europe, sales via online shopping doubled. According to FESI, this boom helped many companies to compensate for 60% of their losses in stationary trade.
And secondly: Retailers noticed a shift towards outdoor sports. With the closure of gyms and other indoor activities, most people were looking for an alternative. Whether hiking, climbing or biking: According to FESI, more than 55% of all sports retailers reported an increase in demand for outdoor equipment. Also popular: hiking boots as well as bicycles. A trend that is expected to continue.
The only problem child: the ski sector. Winter sports in particular are still suffering from the global pandemic. According to FESI, the ski industry lost almost 50% of its sales due to the closed ski resorts during winter season. Government aid has also hardly reached the operators and traders so far, so that this industry is still suffering from the effects of Covid19.