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Cautious optimism as the European Outdoor Group reports positive market indications

The European Outdoor Group (EOG) has revealed some initial findings from the latest phase of its ongoing market research programme. While the detailed results of the expanded sales driven "State of the Trade” project are still being finalised, the first indications from a qualitative survey of leading European outdoor brands are that the sector continues to perform well relative to the wider economy, with low single digit growth overall in Europe.

Mark Held, Secretary General, comments:
"While understanding that the initial findings are limited in scope, they are encouraging. Talk of an early end to the outdoor boom would seem to be unfounded and we believe that what we have been seeing is an adjustment to the new circumstances of post crisis Europe. Of course, driving growth in individual companies is tough at the moment as competition is fiercer than ever, but the energy and innovation of our sector is still clearly in evidence."
The survey was a peer group exercise, designed to provide an interim snapshot of 2012. As such, it is worth noting that the full picture will only become available when the final study is published later this year.
Apparel. In general, sell in values have increased year on year for many countries, with France, Germany, Spain and Sweden performing particularly well with increases of 2% or more.
Footwear. Performance is mixed, with both growth and decline evident in different European markets. Germany and the UK appear to be the main winners with increases, while in contrast Italy declined.
Backpacks and luggage.  Value has increased year on year for many countries. France, Germany, Sweden and Norway appear to have performed best with increases of 2% or more, and Russia has also shown some improvement.
Camping (includes tents, sleeping bags and camping accessories). Performance in this category has been mixed.
Climbing equipment. Overall value has increased by low single digit figures, with the strongest growth reported in Russia, Switzerland and the UK. 
Following the success of last year’s State of the Trade 2011 report, the EOG has appointed Pauline Shepherd, an experienced market research professional, to develop this core project further.
The scope of the research has been expanded to include more than 40 new sub-categories, and it has been moved to an online system to make it easier for companies to submit and view data. Most key brands in Europe, and some of the major retailers with own brands, have submitted key wholesale data for 2012 and the process of analysis is in progress. 
The full State of the Trade 2012 report will be published by the EOG later this year and will be made available to all companies that have participated in the latest stage of the market research project. Top level summary information will be published by the EOG.
To find out more about the EOG and the market research project visit www.europeanoutdoorgroup.com.
For general media information please contact Chris Lines on +44 7971 868329, chris@rightlines.info or www.twitter.com/chrisjlines.
For market research specific questions or enquiries please email marketresearch@europeanoutdoorgroup.com or call EOG marketing and communications manager Mathias Basedow 0044 75 85951741
Note to editors
About the EOG:
The European Outdoor Group was originally founded in 2003 by 19 of the world’s largest outdoor companies, all of which recognised the need for a cohesive, cross border approach to representation of the outdoor sector. In a world of increasing internationalisation, legislation, environment, the media and trade are all now multinational issues. The combined strength of the EOG’s member brands (59 in number, plus a close cooperation with nine national outdoor associations), provides the group with an extremely powerful force to represent the European outdoor industry in a constructive and positive manner.

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