Overview of the European outdoor market

The European Outdoor Group (EOG) has released the key findings from the latest phase of its ongoing State of Trade market research programme.

The outdoor market grew by 2.1% in value and 1.7% in volume during 2015*.

The year was characterised by a relatively healthy spring/ summer season, but a weaker second half, which affected the full figures.  Apparel was impacted most, while other categories proved to be more resilient.  State of Trade 2015 calculates that the sell-in value of the market last year was €5.3bn, with an estimated sell-out value of €11.2bn**.  State of Trade uses data from 111 brands from across Europe, analysing sell-in data for seven main categories and 48 separate sub-categories.

Countries and regions

Regions reported in State of Trade are defined by geography and climate, rather than any other considerations.  Apart from Russia, countries’ comparative rankings remained unchanged.  The report showcased a clear consistency in the growth of product categories (indicating overall retail buying patterns), regardless of market and climate, or a country’s economic performance.

The two largest markets, Germany and France, grew by 2.2% and 2.5% respectively, while the third largest, the UK, lagged slightly with a growth of 1.8%.  In terms of regions, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe performed best, growing by 2.3% and 2.2% respectively.  Overall, outdoor has continued to be a resilient sector when compared to overall economic growth across Europe.


Each category performed better in the first half of the year as can be seen in the chart below.  Backpacks was the fastest growing category in 2015 and all hardwear markets did well.  Apparel, which is the largest category, representing 50% of the market value, lagged behind the other categories.  Apparel volume grew at 1.2%, behind the overall market average of 1.7%.


*The figures exclude Russia

** Note this is a retail estimate based on the sell-in value of the market. It does not take account of any discounting or price promotions of stock and should only be used as a guide. (As not all stock is sold at the original retail price)