The European Outdoor Group (EOG) has released the key findings from its comprehensive market research programme, revealing that the outdoor market grew by 2.1% in value and 1.7% in volume during 2015*. The year was characterised by a relatively healthy spring/ summer season, but a weaker second half, which affected the full figures.
Apparel was impacted most, while other categories proved to be more resilient. State of Trade 2015 calculates that the sell-in value of the market last year was €5.3bn, with an estimated sell-out value of €11.2bn**. State of Trade uses data from 111 brands from across Europe, analysing sell-in data for seven main categories and 48 separate sub-categories.
Countries and Regions
Regions reported in State of Trade are defined by geography and climate, rather than any other considerations. Apart from Russia, countries’ comparative rankings remained unchanged. The report showcased a clear consistency in the growth of product categories (indicating overall retail buying patterns), regardless of market and climate, or a country’s economic performance.
The two largest markets, Germany and France, grew by 2.2% and 2.5% respectively, while the third largest, the UK, lagged slightly with a growth of 1.8%. In terms of regions, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe performed best, growing by 2.3% and 2.2% respectively. Overall, outdoor has continued to be a resilient sector when compared to overall economic growth across Europe.
Each category performed better in the first half of the year as can be seen in the chart below. Backpacks was the fastest growing category in 2015 and all hardwear markets did well. Apparel, which is the largest category, representing 50% of the market value, lagged behind the other categories. Apparel volume grew at 1.2%, behind the overall market average of 1.7%.
Mark Held, general secretary of the EOG, comments: “State of Trade has established itself as the definitive market research study for the outdoor sector in Europe. That is thanks to the sustained contribution of the EOG’s members and we thank them for that. It is especially important to have robust, reliable data when the market is as challenging as it is at the moment.
“We have experienced two consecutive difficult winter seasons and in that context these results are satisfactory, especially as autumn/winter makes up 54% of the market value every year. The outdoor sector did grow in real terms last year and that is good news. Winter came so late that any uplift is not represented in these figures, but a survey of EOG members covering this year to June gives some cause for optimism, with an indicative view that suggests some relatively strong growth in value.”
Market Outlook for 2016 – an indicative view
Mark Held adds: “The EOG is very aware of the need to provide sustained support to the sector through both good and bad times. Projects like #ItsGreatOutThere, the European Outdoor Summit, and our strong trade show partnerships for OutDoor and ISPO demonstrate the association’s continued drive to back the trade during changing political and economic circumstances.”
The State of Trade project is managed by the EOG’s head of market research Pauline Shepherd, working with 111 brands represented by association members across Europe. A gap estimate is added to the inputted figures from the brand participants to take into account missing brands. Since the EOG agreed to accept retail members, their input has helped the association to more accurately calculate the final sell-in value and better estimate the sell-out value for the year. The collected data and the gap estimates are added together to create a total market picture and this is what is reported in State of Trade 2015.