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Outerwear sales in Europe on the rise after a rocky year

By Rachel Douglass

10 Aug 2021


Image: Toomas Tartes Unsplash

Countries across Europe saw a dramatic drop in sales for outerwear clothing over the course of the last year, as Covid-19 continued its rapid spread. However, the industry is now seeing a gradual rise according to a report by the European Outdoor Group (EOG).

The EOG State of Trade report covered products sold by over 100 outdoor companies and sell-in figures from multisport brands. It revealed a widespread decline of the outdoor gear industry over the past year, with Norway reporting the highest drop of 12.9 percent. Other steep drops came from France with a drop of 11.9 percent, the UK by 9.8 percent and Germany by 8.9 percent. Poland reported the lowest drop of 2.6 percent.

“The figures for 2020 will surprise no one, both in the overall impact of the pandemic on the market and in the variations across sub-categories,” said Pauline Shepherd, head of market research, in the report. “However, it is also clear that the outdoor category proved to be resilient, certainly relative to others. Encouragingly, early indications this year are that our industry is bouncing back, and better than many other sectors.”

The report also revealed a 9.5 percent drop in wholesale value of the outerwear market. Backpacks and luggage fell by 16.9 percent in value, making it the hardest hit subcategory, followed by footwear and apparel both seeing a 10.4 percent drop.

Current data collected for 2021 begins to show the recovery of the outdoor sector in the Outdoor Retail Benchmark Report. EOG results reveal that the sector is also beginning to out-perform other retail categories. At present, the report states that German online and in-store retail in the outdoor sector grew by 18.6 percent, as of June 2021 in comparison to 2020. More data is being collected for the UK and other European countries, but the general impression shows a promising climb back up the ladder for the outerwear industry.