The Running Industry Association (RIA) surveyed key specialty run brands across multiple product categories to create a clear snapshot of the challenges facing brands during the COVID-19 crisis, and the results reveal some troubling statistics for many.

The anonymous survey submissions covered three business perspectives: sales status, forward planning and business health. In order to understand how various sized businesses are navigating the downturn, brands were asked to provide their annual sales volume.

The results, published today, provided some key insights. For instance, despite 81 percent of brands actively shipping, only 20 percent are shipping what they had projected and 75 percent reported they do not expect shipping volume to return to normal until sometime in Q3 2020.

“The consequence of dramatically reduced shipments appears to be delayed product launches,” said Terry Schalow, executive director of the RIA. “In fact, over half of the surveyed brands are delaying product launches (for Q3/4) and/or slowing supply chains to prevent inventory surpluses in anticipation of 20-60 percent reduction in 2020 sales. What is most concerning is that 40 percent of brands surveyed don’t expect to survive if the crisis continues into Q3 and beyond. As an organization, the RIA is doing everything we can to support brands and retailers through the pandemic to decrease business closures and emerge as a more vibrant community when some sense of business normalcy is resumed.”

As expected, the crisis is hitting smaller brands harder. With that said, about half of both large and small brands reported layoffs or furloughs, with smaller brands letting go of more employees than large brands. Ninety percent reported COVID-19 will impact their sell-in rates for spring 2021, and 80 percent are using or partnering with e-commerce platforms to support retailers.

Click here to access the full report.

Photo courtesy Breakaway Running