Market report: Outdoor sports in China

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With the rapid development of the economy, people in China are under more and more pressure. And naturally, the desire for a leisure outdoor activities is growing. Since the opening of the first outdoor sports shop in China, the outdoor sports industry has rapidly developed for 16 years. Now, outdoor enthusiasts are found almost everywhere.

Although the average consumption in outdoor sports in China is still far behind that in the western countries, brands are quickly making a name for themselves. In 2010 there was rapid growth in the outdoor sports market. All professional outdoor sports brands have achieved much development, and many traditional sports brands have begun their business in the outdoors category. The most obvious indication is that the outdoor sector in malls has grown, and there are more new medium and small sized outdoor sport stores.

Outdoor brands in China

Today, foreign outdoor sporting brands dominate the industry. These brands are generally high-priced, but have good quality and are multi-functional to satisfy the differing needs of professional outdoor enthusiasts. These brands include Coleman(高门), Jackwolfskin(狼爪), Cantrop(骆驼), Kailas(凯乐石),The North Face(乐斯菲斯), Arc’teryx(始祖鸟), and Columbia(哥伦比亚).

Although the industry leaders are foreign brands, China’s domestic outdoor brands are emerging and developing. Their target consumers are generally students or lower income outdoor sports fans. The products of these brands might be less durable than those of foreign brands, but they are more cost efficient. Consumers who plan to use these products less frequently and see these activities as mere hobbies may look to choose a domestic brand. These domestic brands include Toread(探路者), Kolumb(哥伦布), Scaler(斯凯乐), Mobi Garden(牧高笛), Shene(极星), and Fire Maple(火枫) among others.

Outdoor market exploration

China has outdoor resources all over the country. There are over 6,000 mountains that are over 5,000 meters in altitude. There are 1.35 billion people in the country and 334 prefecture-level cities with populations exceeding 1 million people. The outdoor sports industry is just beginning to become popular in China and has yet to reach its full potential in the country. The following picture is the total value of outdoor retailing market.

Males make up 66% of China’s outdoor enthusiasts. Females are much less likely to engage in outdoor physical activities. 33. 51% of Chinese outdoor enthusiasts have a bachelor’s degree, and 28% have received junior college education. Consumers look at many factors when choosing their outdoor sports equipment  such as cost, design, price and brand reputation, but the majority of consumers tend to make their purchasing decision based on the function and quality of the products.


Our report on the licensed sports merchandise market in China:

marketing research china
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