We are pleased to provided an update on our expanded programme of retail related projects. Since we made the decision to accept retail members in 2014, we have put a greater focus on the area. With several key initiatives now well established, we want to engage on a deeper level with the outdoor retail sector and recruit more members to broaden and enhance our work.

Among the overall EOG membership are 11 organisations, which between them represent 24 retail companies, with around 2,000 doors (and online sales) in nine European countries. Rainer Angstl, CEO of iconic German retailer Sporthaus Schuster, sits on our board and works closely with our retail consultant Anny Cardinahl, who manages a full portfolio of projects.

Future of Retail (FOR)

The EOG’s retail members present the retail point of view to the wider membership through regular communications and at the association’s main winter and summer meetings. In addition, the EOG holds two Future of Retail (FOR) meetings each year. Although the retail members are competitors, they understand the opportunities of collaborating on pre-competitive issues that can benefit the whole sector.

Retail Meets Brand (RMB) project series

Retail Meets Brand is a programme that the EOG facilitates, but retailers and brands are its driving force. The overarching aim of RMB is to strengthen the whole outdoor industry as a community by sharing business practices that improve efficiency. The rolling process kicks off with a small group of four companies (two retailers and two brands) discussing pre-competitive market challenges in a very informal meeting. From this, the participants commit to an open-minded discussion. Starting from different perspectives, each RMB discussion is managed in a way that leads to the agreement of some shared goals and tasks that are designed to improve business efficiencies and relationships from both the brand and retail perspectives. Insights gained during each RMB collaboration inform the ongoing development of the EOG’s wider retail programme and improve integration with other association projects. The EOG encourages its own brand and retail members to participate in the RMB project series, but will also consider requests to get involved from non-members.

Single Use Plastics (SUP) project

Launched in 2018, the SUP project is the first RMB initiative that has developed into an industry-wide global movement. Led by project manager Scott Nelson, it has a clear objective – to significantly reduce SUP use in the value chain – along with clear parameters, processes, desired outcomes and target timelines. Following successful research, development and testing phases, in 2020 the SUP programme will evolve into an implementation project. The SUP project resonates with all EOG members, but retailers, as the industry’s key interface with consumers, are at the heart of the association’s work in this area.

RMB data project

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) B2B systems offer the possibility to automate processes relating to orders, reorders and invoicing, while Product Information Management (PIM) B2C systems are used for online content. In both cases, retailers and brands agree that the processes aren’t optimal, with most solutions some distance from being automated, and often not yet even smart.

This project is building a solid foundation on the existing structures by creating a standardised backbone for the basics of data exchange for EDI and PIM solutions, with the aim of accelerating these processes between retailers and brands. The final output will also incorporate sustainability elements. This project is well supported by the following companies: ANWR GROUP (Sport2000) GER, Internetstores GER/SWE, Intersport GER, Sport Schuster, Transa Backpacking CH, Arc’teryx, Deuter, Haglöfs, and Mammut.

Outdoor Retail Benchmark Report

Research is one of the EOG’s most important priorities, providing the industry with comprehensive, robust and up to date market data. Since the association started accepting retail members, the market research programme has expanded, to include the Outdoor Retail Benchmark Report, a retail point of sale benchmarking report, developed to measure the retail sales/POS sell out of retailers in Europe. Launched as a pilot, the initial project participants are Sport2000, Intersport, A.S. Adventure, Sport Scheck, Reischmann, Engelhorn, Mc Trek, Bergfreunde, Campz, Beaver Zwerfsport, addnature, Transa Backpacking, Snow & Rock, and Cotswold.

The Outdoor Retail Benchmark Report is split into several sports sectors, including outdoor, cycling, running, and golf. Categories include apparel, footwear and hardware, and then a number of assortments are split out in more detail. Metrics include units and sales value in €, retail price, and a benchmark to the industry average. Every participating retailer receives a comprehensive benchmark report in return for taking part.

All of the EOG’s retail initiatives are making good progress and some have already yielded notable results that are helping both individual members and the whole association. The EOG is now encouraging more organisations to join its retail network, both to contribute to, and benefit from, the expanded portfolio of live projects. To find out how to get involved with and contribute to the EOG retail programme, contact Anny Cardinahl on anny.cardinahl@europeanoutdoorgroup.com. Anny will be at ISPO 2020 from 26-29 January and is happy to meet with businesses that are interested in learning more about the association’s retail programme.