After registering a jump of 24.97 percent in the first quarter, due especially to very good weather conditions, the major sporting goods retail chains booked a drop of 3.93 percent in the second quarter as compared to the same period of last year, due in part to store closures. Many retailers reacted with higher sales through their own e-commerce channels, especially for sports equipment. The figures were compiled by the Norwegian sporting goods industry association, Norsk Sportsbransjeforening, based on input from the major chains, which were estimated to account for more than 60 percent of the market in 2019.
Noting that it was the second-best second quarter in many years, the director of the association, Trond Evald Hansen, mentioned active leisure as the fastest-growing segment of the market, with many people again choosing to spend their holidays in the Norwegian mountains instead of travelling abroad. Running and water sports were strong, and the football segment began to benefit from the easing of restrictions on collective grassroots sports. On the other hand, many suppliers and dealers struggled to respond to the demand for bikes and home fitness equipment.
Like in the first quarter, the retailers’ sales of 3,608 million kroner (€342m-$400m) for the three months ended last June 30 were higher than those of the comparable 2019 period. As a result, their combined sales of NOK 6,923.4 million (€658m-$768m) for the first half of 2021 was up by 8.04 percent as compared to the first half of last year and up by 12.47 percent as compared to the first half of 2019. The “staycation” trend triggered by Covid-19 was obviously a major factor.