At this unprecedented and highly challenging time, there have obviously been heavy financial impacts on a variety of different industries across the country and across the world.
At the same time, there have been a few industries that have really seen their sales spike, with the outdoor sports equipment industry seeing major gains in many areas. With this interesting trend in mind, we thought we’d look at a few examples of where and why this is happening.
Major European sports chain Decathlon has seen a significant increase in sales of hiking, cycling and camping equipment. Covid-19 has seen families look for outdoor activities they can do safely together. Many commuters are also buying bikes and electric scooters to steer clear of public transport if they’re still required to work. Decathlon’s sales rose 14% in August and September as compared to 2019.
Sales of cycling and commuting equipment saw a 34% increase, while sales of hiking kit rose by 15%. Decathlon’s chief of finance, Alberto Bottan, said: “The recovery has been much faster than expected. The market is not stagnant any longer.”
When it comes to golf, a recent report by popular golf retailer Srixon has shown that the number of people looking to take up golf has hit record highs, with it being one of the few sports that can fit well with social distancing measures. Year-on-year, sales of Srixon golf products across Europe were up 34% in June and 58% in July, while in the UK it was 41% in June and 41% in July as compared to the year before.
It is expected that strong sales will be sustained into the autumn months, with the sport continuing to be one of the best options for physical activity in a tiered-lockdown situation. Google searches related to taking up the game have also hit their highest-ever levels this summer.
Home gym equipment
Sales of home gym equipment saw an astonishing spike of 5813% in the weeks after the UK went into lockdown on 23 March. The figures, provided by price comparison site Idealo, showed that trainer purchases have been the most popular buy over the past few months. The move towards home workouts have obviously been prompted by gym closures, but also due to the free online sessions being offered by YouTubers. Joe Wicks set a new record with over one million people tuning in for his 9am workout classes.
One major impact of lockdowns is just how many in the UK have cancelled their gym memberships. One gym said it has lost 178,000 customers, representing a third of its members, over three months. The turn to home gym equipment has seen sales rocket, being up 6,500% from March to September. Weight benches have seen a 4,130% increase, exercise bikes a 2,113% increase and cross trainers being at 815%. In July 2020, gym weight sales in the UK were higher than the entirety of 2019.