The European outdoor industry’s annual sales at retail exceeded €10 billion in 2012, according to the latest edition of The State of the Trade report released by the European Outdoor Group (EOG). At a wholesale level, sell-in figures provided by outdoor brands reveal a year on year value growth in overall sales of 1% during 2012.


For the first time, the EOG provided a break down of apparel sales by six sub-categories that revealed that outerwear tops, made up approximately 42 percent of the apparel market.  The study defines outerwear tops as garments primarily designed to face the elements.  They are worn on top of primary, or midlayers and include hardshells, softshells and windshirts with, or without, integrated insulation.


Midlayer, which includes both tops and bottoms,  contribute 20 percent of apparel sales, with tops representing the majority of the value.  Top garments are designed to be worn on top of primary layers and/or below outerwear and are normally insulation pieces such as fleeces.  The sub-category includes down and synthetic filled garments and hybrid pieces.


Primary layer tops and bottoms are garments designed to be worn next to the body.  Tops are the larger of the two and represent 11 percent of the apparel market.  The sub-category includes baselayers, shirts and dresses.  Primary layer bottoms represents 6% of the apparel category and includes baselayers, trousers, shorts and skirts. 


Apparel accessories represent about 7 percent of apparel sales. These are generally products designed to protect from the extremities of the environment, such as hats, scarfs, neck gaiters, and gloves.


In 2013, the EOG announced a major expansion to the scale of the market research programme and a new secure online platform was successfully launched – europeanoutdoorfacts. This allowed the EOG to expand the scope of the data collected from the seven main categories to almost 50 new sub-categories.  The brands that contribute to State of Trade now provide comprehensive sell-in data on this  secure, confidential online platform.  During 2012, the performance of these categories varied, from a growth of 3 percet to a decline of 4 percent.  There were also notable variances in the performance of categories in different countries.


State of Trade is the EOG’s ongoing market research project.  Now in its third year, the initiative is tracking five year trends in the outdoor market, reporting wholesale sell-in figures for products in 22 countries across Europe.  Over 100 brands are currently participating in the project.


“The report continues to develop year on year and is a major achievement due to the ongoing efforts of both the EOG and more than 100 brands across Europe,” said Mark Held, EOG secretary general. “This commitment has allowed us to make significant investment in a new secure online digital system for the 2012 report, which will provide the framework for even more sophisticated and detailed reporting each year.  State of Trade is a very important project for the European outdoor industry and provides extremely valuable insights that can inform strategic business decisions.  There is still time for brands, and retailers with own brands, to participate in the 2013 research, and I encourage them to do so.”


EOG President David Udberg said being able to refer to hard, reliable data for business planning has never been more important.


“Indeed, in these particularly demanding times, such insight can make the difference between success and failure,” Udberg said. “Strategically, this data is invaluable to brands as well as to our sector as a whole when liaising with other commercial bodies and, indeed, with the politicians and civil servants who have so much influence across Europe.”


The EOG will present an overview of the research findings at a free to attend event during ISPO MUNICH, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm Monday, Jan. 27.  Individuals interested in attending the State of the Trade presentation at ISPO can register online here.


Brands or retailers with own brands that are interested in participating in the EOG market research programme should contact  The EOG team will be attending ISPO MUNICH and will be happy to arrange meetings in advance.