According to GfK market research, the Swiss sporting goods market ended 2020 with a stable result, thanks to a sales rally in the last two months of the year. However, there is a significant gap between the different sectors: the overall winners in 2020 were fitness, outdoor, running, stand-up paddling and, in winter, snowshoeing, sledding and cross-country skiing. Outside of GfK’s official 2020 analysis, figures from the bicycle market see an overall growth of 40 percent for this category – with 30 percent of products sold being e-bikes. Losers included the apparel, team and winter sports categories, particularly alpine skiing and snowboarding, including the rental business. For winter sports enthusiasts, the 2020/21 season was particularly bitter, as there was sufficient snow for a long time, but ski resorts were only open to a limited extent or not at all.
Another indication of the pandemic year was the flourishing online trade: e-commerce, in general, increased by 50 percent in 2020. In the hard goods sector, sales even doubled. Every fourth Swiss Franc in the sports market was spent online in 2020.
The first quarter of 2021 gives cause for further optimism, at least for online sports retail, for which GfK’s market researchers report a year-on-year increase of 92 percent. Across all categories monitored, there was significant growth of 42.8 percent in online purchases. The only sector to report negative sales was office supplies.