GfK: Swiss sports market remains at a high level after the pandemic

Following the record growth rate of 14 percent in 2021, the Swiss sports market was again able to grow slightly in 2022, GfK reports. The sales volume amounts to around 2.2 billion Swiss francs.

Image: Paul Green; Unsplash.

In contrast to other non-food markets, the Swiss sports market was able to maintain its very high post-pandemic level. The hard goods ( e.g. skis, backpacks, helmets, fitness equipment) and footwear segments each increased by 2 percent. Textiles declined by 2 percent. Outdoor remained the most important segment with sales of just under 500 million Swiss francs. This corresponds to around 20 percent of the total sports market. Here, the camping segment grew strongly, particularly in hardware.

There was also a positive development in the Leisure segment, i.e. a trend that was particularly evident in sporty and comfortable footwear. Sales in the Snow segment declined by 22 percent in 2022. The sales trend for Fitness and Running was also down, at minus 3 percent. For the first time in years, the importance of online shopping in the sports market declined, from 28 to 27 percent. GfK is also observing this negative trend in other sectors, such as fashion. In-store shopping is valued by customers with all the benefits around advice, service and experience. In general, online sales are likely to rise again in the next few years, and not just for the sports market, the market research company expects.

Velomarket also with high sales

The bicycle market has stabilized at a high level: According to Velosuisse, just under 500 thousand bikes were sold in 2022, which is slightly below the previous year. The number of e-bikes increased again sharply by almost 20 percent: 45 percent of all bikes sold had an electric drive. This has also increased the average price per bike and contributed to the fact that the market turnover remains high. According to industry information, the warehouses are now very full and too many ordered two-wheelers will probably flood the market in 2023 or can only be sold at a discount.

The sports market proved to be very robust after the pandemic and, contrary to expectations, did not lose any sales. However, there is still uncertainty regarding consumer sentiment, inflation and the consequences of the Ukraine war. It is also possible that sales from the sports market will flow into the traditional areas such as travel or leisure, etc. If it can be assumed from the following scenarios that online will develop positively again, winter conditions will play along, the availability of goods will be better again, the leisure and outdoor sectors will continue to boom and prices will tend to be slightly higher, it is not unrealistic that the market can reach the high level of 2022 again.

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