The European Outdoor Group was unable to share the results of its annual “State of Trade” study of the European market at the OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen last July because of technical problems such as the installation of new software for data collection. Marc Held, secretary general of the EOG, indicated at the time that the industry's sales had grown by less than 2 percent at the wholesale level in 2012, reaching a turnover of around €10 billion at the retail level.

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The software is now operational, and the EOG has provided some of the headline results ahead of the Ispo Munich show, where it will hold a conference about the study next Monday.

The final sell-in data indicate that the market grew in 2012 by 1 percent to more than €10 billion at retail, with the performance of the various categories varying between an increase of 3 percent and a decline of 4 percent. Notable variations were also found in their performance in the 22 different European countries covered by the report.

The installation of a new secure online platform, europeanoutdoorfacts.com, has allowed the EOG to expand the scope of the data collection from seven main categories to almost 50 new sub-categories. The brands that participate in the study are now contributing their data to the online platform in confidence, preventing other participants from learning about their individual performance. Adding up their data, the market figures for each sub-category and each country are made available to the 100-odd brands participating in the study.

As indicated in the charts on this page, the final 2012 figures show that apparel and textile accessories represented about 53 percent of the total European outdoor market in 2012, followed by footwear with a share of 26 percent, outdoor hardware accessories at 7 percent and backpacks and luggage at 6 percent.

Within the apparel category, whose sales can thus be estimated at around €53 million at retail, outerwear tops take up the largest share, making up around 42 percent of the total. Fleeces and other mid-layer tops and bottoms have a share of 20 percent.

Next-to-ski primary layer tops, including shirts and dresses, represent 11 percent of the apparel market, and primary layer bottoms 6 percent. Apparel accessories such as hats, scarfs and gloves contribute 7 percent to the apparel category's turnover.

The EOG is inviting other brands to participate in the research for its 2013 report. The outgoing president, David Udberg, stresses that the availability of reliable data has become very important for business planning in particularly demanding times like now.

We were unable to determine at press time who will be the next president of the EOG, who will be elected at the general assembly during the Ispo show in Munich. There is strong speculation that Udberg will be succeeded by Jean-Marc Pambet, president of Salomon.