What The Post-Pandemic Boom Means For Outdoor Brands
One of the few success stories from the pandemic is the subsequent boom for outdoor brands as people flocked to the wider world following a period of being stuck indoors. Whilst it may seem counterintuitive for outdoors-related brands to benefit from such restrictions, they saw revenues rocket in unprecedented ways.
This has meant that those working in the outdoor fashion world or connected industries, such as ghost mannequin photography must understand how the industry is changing and react accordingly.
Prior to the pandemic, many of us lacked the time or interest in outdoor experiences but in 2020, outdoor activity grew by an impressive 6.9%. Enthusiasm for hobbies and recreational activities that got people away from their bubble continued to grow as the world moved into 2021, with 7.1 million more people than before the pandemic getting involved in outdoor activities.
Brands including Patagonia and The North Face embraced this change in habit, becoming the leading locations for equipment and clothing. This boom not only affected major brands but also smaller companies looking to take advantage. In 2021, outdoor recreation added $862 billion to the economy in the US, an incredible $173 billion more than the previous year.
The meteoric growth didn’t last forever and despite continuing to grow once restrictions were removed, 2022 saw sales levelling out. For outdoor fashion brands, equipment retailers and ghost mannequin photography services in London, this was just the start of a challenging period of time.
The disruption and increased cost throughout the supply chain, as well as a growing cost-of-living crisis, have meant these outdoor brands must face up to a different type of challenge. This has led brands to focus on innovation, changing brand identity, collaborations with sports stars and much more.
Now that we have seen both the positive and negative experiences for outdoor brands in the past few years, it is important to explore strategies for maintaining growth at such a difficult time for brands across the world. We’ve picked three fundamental strategic decisions that can not only help outdoor brands but the wider fashion and retail industries.
Research continues to show a growing focus on sustainability for consumers when making purchasing decisions. This is particularly true with younger demographics and for those outdoor brands that buy into this focus, they can see real growth opportunities.
Now that restrictions are removed, there is a growing need for brands to connect with markets outside of their traditional locations. By operating in new and growing markets, an outdoor brand is able to spread the risk and take advantage of difficult economic situations.
Very much connected with the focus on sustainability, the second-hand and re-sale industries are seeing significant interest from consumers. If outdoor brands can find a way to join this growing movement, they will be better placed to succeed.