Can the winter sports equipment market keep up with increased demand?
As we have covered in a recent blog, the outdoor sports equipment market has been booming through the spring and summer months of lockdown as people turned to the few activities they were still able to do without much restriction. This is something that at Creative Play we are looking to help with, as we offer a range of outdoor gym equipment and other outdoor sports options.
We can also now bring news of recent trends suggesting that the winter sports equipment market has also surged, to such a degree that some suppliers are worrying whether they can keep up with the increased demand for their equipment.
Demand for items such as cross-country skis and snowmobiles has risen much earlier than usual in some of the main skiing and snowy resort areas across Europe and North America. It looks like there will be a sustained spike in interest, similar to bike and gym equipment sales soaring this spring. To give a real-life example, here’s one story we read about recently.
Dean Sampson, owner of Sampson’s Sporting Life in Winnipeg, said that sales of Nordic-ski items had been “booming off the hook, we’ve never seen anything like it”, with sales levels up to eight times the amount of this time last year. Many winter sports stores say they’ve been busy answering phone calls and arranging roadside pickup orders, with Sampson suggesting that many people chose to put money previously allocated into this year’s holiday into buying equipment for future trips.
Back in April, Sampson took an educated gamble and ordered around five times the quantity of winter sports equipment he usually does, a move that has left him well placed to deal with the increased demand. “From customer after customer phoning around, it sounds like we’re the last store in our city that has much of a collection,” said Sampson.
He worries that stocks for certain sizes of cross-country skis may see a shortage by late December. He’s normally able to reorder most products on a monthly basis, but the global supply chain is stretched, and Sampson thinks the orders retailers get over the next few weeks will have to be their stock for the remainder of the winter season.
It remains to be seen whether sales will continue to be so high, as well as – crucially – whether supply chains can match the demand, but we hope that people are able to engage in as much outdoor sport as is safely possible before things hopefully return to relative normal at some point next year.