According to the Norwegian sporting goods industry federation, Sportsbransjen, 2018 was a record year for country's major sporting goods chains with overall sales of 14.2 billion Norwegian Krone (€1.5bn-$1.7bn), a 3.4 percent increase from 2017. The total sporting goods market may have grown even faster if pure internet retailers are included.

Analyzing the results per quarter, the organization said the year of 2018 started well with a snowy winter and sales growth of more than 10 percent in the first quarter. The second quarter continued to perform well with a rise of 3.1 percent, followed by a 2 percent increase in the third quarter. The results for the important fourth quarter were on par with those of the same period of the previous year. XXL remained the largest sporting goods chains in Norway, with 32.52 percent of the market, followed by Gresvig (G-Sport, G-Max and Intersport), with 29.33 percent market share, and Sport 1, which captured 19.4 percent of the Norwegian sporting goods market.

XXL reached sales of NOK 4.6 billion (€474.5m-$538.8m) in the country, which was a 4.57 percent increase from 2017. Gresvig had sales of around NOK 4.1 billion (€422.9m-$480.2m), up by 3.25 percent. Sport 1 sold sporting goods for about NOK 2.7 billion (€278.5m-$316.2m), growing by 4.74 percent as compared to 2017.

The sporting goods retail sector received a lot of attention in the past year, particularly because of XXL's development on the stock market, which has given the impression that Norwegians have purchased enough sporting goods equipment in recent years and that the market is now saturated.

According to Trond Evald Hansen, chief executive of Sportsbransjen, this is not the case as never before have so many sporting goods been sold. He also noted that that last year's snowy winter and warm summer attracted many new sports enthusiasts, generating greater demand in the market.

Sportsbransjen's report stresses that e-commerce, concept stores and factory outlets are taking a larger market share of the market from traditional retailers. With a 3.4 percent increase in sales among traditional sporting goods retailers in 2018, it can be assumed that the other sales channels grew more strongly.

Only three years ago, the turnover in the sporting goods industry was calculated using the fact that the brick-and-mortar sports retail chains accounted for 90 per cent of the turnover, while “others” accounted for 10 percent. New changes to this thinking are expected when Sportsbransjen calculates the 2018 results from all the channels in the autumn of 2019.