In its latest report, the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) found promising sales growth for ski gear in most major markets in Europe and other important ski regions.
FESI represents about 1,800 sporting goods manufacturers, 85 percent of which operate in European markets. According to the sales data collected by the Federation’s winter sports task force from those affiliates, ski and ski equipment sales have “generally increased” over the past three years.
Sales data in the report shows a “clear expansion of the European ski market on average,” resulting in the growth of ski, ski binding and ski boot sales of about 10 percent. Compared to the 2016 winter season, ski sales have increased by almost 20 percent, according to FESI data, the third straight year of growth.
“I am extremely pleased with these results, which are really encouraging,” René Harrer, head of the FESI winter sports task force, said. “After several tough years, the ski industry is now back on track and I hope it will continue for the next few seasons.”
Italy, Spain, Sweden and the Czech Republic lead the way in ski sales. FESI said the U.K. was the only European market where sales slowed compared to the previous season, likely due to increasing uncertainty relating to Brexit and a weaker pound, FESI said.
Much of the market’s success can be attributed to higher sales among women, according to FESI. The firm reported a “meaningful increment” in women’s skis and ski boots throughout Germany, Austria, Sweden and Japan.
“I am glad to see that the European ski market registered such an expansion. This means that investments are paying off and that customers’ confidence is back,” Jérôme Pero, FESI’s secretary general, said. “Women played a key role in boosting skis and ski equipment’s sales in various countries, meaning that the ski industry aims to be as inclusive as possible.”
In markets outside of Europe, FESI data showed “interesting growth” in Canada’s ski equipment sales, although the difference in ski boot sales between seasons was not particularly notable. In Japan, the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement went into effect just two months before the end of the season and FESI expects export opportunities in the country to expand once custom duties are removed.