Retail stores across the country closed when the pandemic started. The negative cash flow forced these businesses to stop their operations with the hope that they can reopen in the future. And after more than a year, the industry is starting to recover.
Industry watchers expect a positive outlook for the sporting goods industry, but there may be changes in the trends due to the situation. Here are some trends to expect in the sports industry under the new normal way of life.
When the pandemic started, consumers had to stay at home after the authorities issued the shelter-in-place directives. This compelled them to buy products online. With this, retailers had to focus their energies on selling their products and services online. While some retailers already had an online presence before the pandemic, many smaller stores had to start from scratch and worked on setting up an online presence and growing it.
The situation compelled many companies to invest in online marketing strategies so they can connect with their customers. They shifted their focus from in-store sales to online sales. While the situation has improved and foot traffic has increased, industry watchers expect online marketing activities to continue, and it will likely increase in the coming years.
Even as athletes want to wear athletic apparel, they also look for comfort when wearing them, particularly when it comes to winter sports. They’ll likely look toward a reliable pair of Bogner snow pants topped with layered clothing and a fleece jacket.
With this, the athleisure line of clothing provides athletes the best of both worlds. They get athletic apparel that is comfortable to wear. While this trend started in the 2010s, the pandemic increased its popularity. This fashion style allows people to wear the same clothes during their work hours and free time. Many fashion brands are starting to enter this segment of the market since it provides athletes the freedom to wear athletic attire even if they are not practicing their sport.
Aside from fashion wear, the pandemic also saw an increase in digital-enabled fitness devices and apps. The increased use came after the authorities issued the shelter-in-place directives. These directives forced gyms and fitness centers to close.
Despite these closures, people reached out and continued their workout routine through digital fitness platforms. Fitness enthusiasts connected with instructors online, and they worked out in the comfort of their homes.
Even though gyms and fitness centers have reopened, the use of the technology will continue. It provides people with the convenience of performing their workout and exercise routines at home.
The move towards sustainability has also influenced the sports industry as companies focus on environment-friendly products for their customers. Even as the shift towards sustainability started before the pandemic started, the health crisis highlighted its importance.
With this, companies are working to provide innovative products that are not harmful to the environment. These products are also easy to recycle to surmount the obstacles when it comes to recycling products. Additionally, its shows that these companies are serious when it comes to environmental protection.
Agile Supply Chains
The pandemic had a significant effect on the global supply chains when it started since China is a major supplier of many consumer goods worldwide. While this effect was short-lived, it showed that it’s essential to ensure these supply chains remain agile so companies can make the necessary adjustments to prevent disruptions in the future.
Some industry watchers look at localization to prevent any disruptions since it ensures a ready supply of products if another worldwide supply disruption happens. And with the emergence of new variants of the virus, the supply chain remains volatile. So, companies should focus on ensuring they have a suitable inventory of their product to avoid disruptions.
The pandemic forced many retailers to rethink their strategies after the authorities issued the shelter-at-home directives. Their physical stores had to close due to the lack of revenues. Some stores even closed permanently since they couldn’t keep up with their expenses.
In these situations, retail stores should have plans ready to connect with their market online. This will allow them to stay afloat until the situation improves. And over a year after the pandemic started, people are already going out of their homes. At this point, retail stores should work harder to encourage customers to visit their brick-and-mortar stores. They should provide a unique and safe shopping experience to increase in-store traffic and increase their revenue.
The pandemic upended the sports industry. It also resulted in new trends in the industry that industry watchers expect to continue in the years to come.