Chinese outdoor segment optimistic at Asia Outdoor
China Outdoor Association publishes report – fiercer competition especially for small companies – Asia Outdoor proving to be the industry's premier meet-up
This year, on its tenth anniversary in Nanjing, China, Asia Outdoor welcomed an increasing number of exhibitors and visitors. The mood at this premier Asian trade show was dominated by several key factors that will have an impact on business in the Chinese outdoor industry and the success of the event itself. "The Asia Outdoor has developed into a renowned part of the Chinese outdoor industry over the last ten years. Our new partnership with the China Outdoor association will now also offer market data to industry and retail players”, explains Stefan Reisinger, Head of OutDoor, Messe Friedrichshafen. The market in Asia is continuing to develop. Despite a slowdown in growth of the Chinese economy, the Chinese population still has plenty of spending power. In 2014, e-commerce grew by over 50 per cent, with the market still influenced by major international brands.
For now, the shaky state of the Chinese economy is having little effect on the outdoor industry. Since the middle of June the price of shares on the Chinese market has tumbled by around 30 per cent and on Monday, 27 July alone a remarkable 8 per cent was wiped off their value. During the same week the markets did recover, but trust in the domestic economy has definitely been shaken. Similarly to the West, this has an impact on the confidence of average citizens in the country’s investment and saving models. Initially it doesn’t have any effect on their monthly budgets for consumer goods such as backpacks or waterproof jackets. Actually, the money spent by Chinese people on outdoor products was still on the rise last year. This factor is highlighted by a current study published by the China Outdoor Association (COA) comparing business in 2014 with previous years. However, the COA only looks at core products, i.e. it excludes cheap products that merely pretend to be outdoor and fashion labels that have overly trendy outdoor ranges etc.
Trickier however is the development for major outdoor suppliers planning IPOs in order to finance further expansion in China or abroad. It’s probably too early to say, but it could be good news for smaller outdoor specialists if the big players have to rein in their plans for expansion.
As regards the retail structure, due to the decline in the outdoor boom over the last one to two years, there is likely to be some consolidation on the market, both on the part of the Chinese manufacturers and smaller retailers. But this doesn’t mean that anyone needs to be concerned about specialist outdoor retail as such. There will probably be fewer, but therefore stronger market players. The latest development up until 2014 already reveals slightly dwindling development in the number of outdoor retail outlets. A special factor in changes in the outdoor industry is the fast-growing online sector. Last year this rose by 61.7 per cent compared with the previous year.
The development of full-range businesses very similar to medium-sized, European-style enterprises could harness synergy with related ranges. However, at the moment this market is only in its infancy. Or in other words, multi-sport business is currently covered by large international players and less by small- and medium-sized companies. It’s here that Asia Outdoor proves to be a major hub for a well-oiled community of special firms.
Over the past decade, Nanjing has become the meeting place of choice for the industry. This vast city with its population of eight million is easy to reach from all areas of the country. Another aspect is that it’s not far from Shanghai. From Beijing the old Chinese capital can also be reached within four hours by train - that’s faster than the two-hour flight to Nanjing/Shanghai when the time taken to check in and alight from the plane is taken into account.
The organisers of Asia Outdoor take the market players' requests for a suitable date for the show seriously. Some members of the industry believe an earlier date would be better in order to synchronise the showcase better with other sales events. Therefore, in response to customers and the markets Asia Outdoor will take place next year from 30 June to 3 July 2016 already.
About Asia Outdoor and the China Outdoor Association (COA):
As the biggest trade show for the outdoor industry in China, Asia Outdoor looks back on ten years of experience and has become an established event in the segment. It’s based on the two trade shows in Nanjing and Friedrichshafen working closely together. At Lake Constance OutDoor has had the status of being Europe’s biggest outdoor show for decades. At the last Asia Outdoor, 617 exhibitors (2014: 613) showcased their outdoor products and innovations over floor space covering 50,000 square metres. Some 19,002 visitors (2014: 17,298) and 459 journalists came. The Chinese Outdoor Association (with brands like Acanu, Discovery, Halti, Kailas, Leki, Lowa, Meindl, Mobi Garden, Northland, Scaler, Toread and Vaude) fully supports Asia Outdoor. At this year’s AGM it decided that all members would exhibit at Asia Outdoor exclusively. During Asia Outdoor 2015 the COA published its outdoor industry report for China.
Contact for Asia Outdoor:
Richard Li, Project Director
Nanjing Ningfei International Exhibition Co., Ltd. +86 15905195280