The European Outdoor Group (EOG) held its Annual Assembly ahead of ISPO MUNICH, which was attended by 83 representatives of the brands, retailers, technology brands and national associations that make up its membership.
During the meeting, the EOG board and executive updated members on a range of issues, and outlined priorities and plans for 2018.
The key topics covered during the EOG Annual Assembly were:
- Vision 2020 and the future of OutDoor
- Market research – initial indications of positive market performance in 2017
- CSR and sustainability – updates on work on microfibres/microplastics and the development of new public resources on recycled down and wool, and chemical use in product manufacture
- #itsgreatoutthere – news of progress made by the It’s Great Out There Coalition.
At the EOG Annual Assembly, members were presented with proposals for the long-term future of OutDoor by three potential partners – Messe Friedrichshafen, Messe Hamburg and Messe München. There followed an opportunity for those at the meeting to ask questions and discuss the relative merits of the options.
Following ISPO, EOG members will participate in a secure digital voting process that will run from 1 February, during which they will be asked to vote with their preferred options for OutDoor. This stage will be managed by an independent provider of electoral services (Electoral Reform Services) and the result will be announced by 14 February at the latest. The successful partner will run the OutDoor platform from 2019.
John Jansen, EOG president, comments: “The Vision 2020 process has been comprehensive, robust and transparent. It has looked at all aspects of what our sector needs from OutDoor and has thoroughly reviewed the definition of what a trade show platform needs to deliver in a rapidly changing market. The three potential partners embraced the challenge that we set them and presented their visions of how to elevate OutDoor into a true focus point for thought leadership in our sector for the long-term, while also delivering a sustainably successful trade show. The final decision about the future direction of OutDoor now lies in the hands of the EOG membership, in the final stage of a truly democratic process.”
EOG members were presented with results of a new survey of 50 brand members of the association, which indicate that 2017 was a year of positive sell-in growth for the outdoor market:
- 47% of brands reported growth of over 5.1% and 32% reported growth of between 2.5% and 5%
- All categories experienced growth and that was strongest in hardware and apparel
- 85% of respondents reported that the winter 2017/18 season is performing better so far compared to last year
- 91% expect 2018 to perform much better (47%) or slightly better (44%) than 2017.
While the survey does not provide a full picture of the performance of the outdoor market in 2017 (and only represents sell-in information), it does indicate that the sector has experienced good growth in the last 12 months, reinforced by a strong winter so far. When asked what was driving growth, survey respondents highlighted increased participation in hiking, trail running and climbing, and a greater appetite for outdoor activities among urban populations. Sustainability issues were also cited as driving sales more than in the past.
In February, the EOG’s industry leading State of Trade project will start collecting a full set of data for 2017 from over 115 brands, for seven main categories and 48 sub-categories. Results from State of Trade 2017 will be released at OutDoor in June.
Meanwhile, the next phase of the EOG’s Retail Sales Barometer is in development. Thanks to the increased number of its retail members, the association has been able to enhance this initiative, which provides an insight into sell-through performance in the market. The EOG intends to publish the next set of results at OutDoor.