Outdoor apparel and equipment market grows 3% in Europe in 2016, faster than in 2015

The outdoor apparel and equipment industry's leading brands and distributors are busy at the Outdoor trade show, scheduled in Friedrichshafen, on the sunny shores of Lake Constance, Germany, from 18th to 21st June. The first day of this signature event for the European sport and outdoor sector featured the presentation of last year's market statistics.

Sales breakdown for the outdoor market (wholesale values) in 2016 - EOG

The main news is that, in 2016, the European outdoor market has grown at an even faster pace than before. According to a survey by the European Outdoor Group (EOG), the association for the outdoor apparel and equipment industry, the sector's overall revenue reached €5.47 billion at wholesale value, up 3% compared to the previous year. In volume terms, the rise was 3.4%, and in both cases this signalled a marked acceleration, since a year earlier the market grew by 1.4% in value and by 0.8% in volume.

Specifically, the apparel segment remained the most significant one, and also the most dynamic: its sales were worth €2.8 billion, equivalent to a value growth of 4.2%, and a volume one of 6.3%. Footwear, whose share increased steadily in the past, remains the second most important segment, with sales worth €1.5 billion, a figure on par with that of 2015. The most energetic segment was that of luggage and bags, which grew 2.6% in volume and as much as 5.3% in value compared to 2015, reaching €390 million.

Sell-in growth rates for the European outdoor market in 2016 by geographical region - EOG

By geographical area, the regions with the highest rates of growth were UK-Benelux (worth €939 million, +3.1%), Germany-Austria-Switzerland (€2 billion, +3%) and Scandinavia (€762 million, +3%).

The figures paint the picture of a buoyant market, with growth expected to continue, as outdoor trends are set to extend to an urban environment too. As a result, EOG members are planning a more ambitious trade show for 2020, which they are developing also via an online survey and meetings with industry players.

While the event will remain targeted to outdoor industry professionals, its format is destined to change over time. "We are proud of the lively, dynamic show we have nowadays. However, we must have a long-term vision and assess how the show can generate value in the future, said John Jansen, the President of EOG. We are working on a report to define what the next steps will be for our show, and we will continue to expand its scope, so that it will remain the leading industry event in Europe. It will adapt of course, to reflect the large-scale changes taking place in the industry, and at the same time it will become a proactive, dynamic channel for launching innovative products, helping the European outdoor sector to evolve and prosper in a healthy fashion."

The EOG is planning to publish its report and present a new plan in early 2018.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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