Tuesday, October 27

Outdoor Shopping - Trade Up or Down?

Up according the manager of this Oswald Bailey's shop - "We couldn't get enough tents in over the summer"

Perhaps not so great, if you followed the reports of Black's branch reduction last month - "The Group has experienced a difficult year in a particularly challenging trading environment.........the financial year saw our core Outdoor division maintain a sound performance in a tough retail market, reporting a small reduction in operating profit compared to the previous year"
(Although that was taken from a statement back in May before the main 2009 trading season got underway)

Anecdotal feedback from those I've spoken to in the trade seem happy, but there is often a tendency to talk-up trading conditions, rather than unsettle potential customers.

Well the trading report season is drawing near - let's see what the real position has been for Outdoor Retailing in Summer 2009.


I think that a lot of budget, mass market stores have done quite well especially the "superstore" type ones. At the other end of the spectrum, specialist camping/walking/climbing shops I also suspect to have done quite well.
Where I suspect there has been a lull is the middle ground where some retailers are neither cheap and cheerful nor specilised enough, eg Blacks.
Personally if I want some family camping gear i will go to Go Outdoors. If I want kit for just myself it will be a specialist online or tucked away around a corner trader. I have been into Blacks and there is just not enough for me....
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