The Covid-driven running boom led Brooks Running to score a 49 percent sales increase in the third quarter of 2020. In the U.S., the brand’s market share in the performance running category gained four percentage points in the quarter as compared to a year ago, according to NPD.
Without sharing its actual sales figures, the company indicated that the increases came in part from strong new product lines, the addition of new customers and the development of e-commerce, which has stabilized at 42 percent of sales, up from 35 percent in 2019. It reached a peak of 82 percent of the turnover in April, when the retail lockdown was most intense.
Brooks noted that it benefited from adjusting its communication by identifying a mindset shift among runners toward a search for mental benefits during the Covid-19 pandemic rather than the achievement of new goals in terms of fitness or distance. This was based on the findings of the company’s Run Sight Lab research. We think that the new mindset was also triggered by the absence of physical running contests.
Surveys have indicated a rising brand strength for Brooks. In Germany, for example, it got a “Brand of the Year” award in the running category from the trade magazine SAZ Sports for the fourth year in a row. Brooks was rated first in terms of service, brand values, partnerships, products and sustainability.
The magazine reports that Brooks has continued to stay away from pure online players in Germany and that only 10 percent of the shoes it sells in the country are special make-ups.