Retailers report increasing appetite for the great outdoors

Updated: 2013-04-03 09:32

By Li Woke (China Daily)

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Retailers report increasing appetite for the great outdoors

A woman and child try out a display tent at Decathlon's store in Wuhan, Hubei province. [Provided to China Daily] 

Sporting goods manufacturers respond with new product lines

As Wuhan's famous spring cherry blossom starts to appear everywhere across town, Qin Shuang has been busy putting up tents.

The manager of the Decathlon store in the capital city of Hubei province, says the appearance of the pink and white flowers signals the start of his busy season, when people are most likely to buy outdoor equipment.

"I have to arrange my most popular items, such as tents, football and basketball sneakers, so consumers can see them as soon as they step into the store."

Qin said outdoor enthusiasts start arriving in large numbers in April and May, when people feel the weather warming up.

It's the busiest time of the year for the French retail chain, Qin said.

"My bestsellers are tents, waterproof jackets and backpacks. Business may double this month and next," said Qin.

Jens Meyer, the vice-president of marketing at Adidas Sport Performance China, a major player in the global outdoors market, says spending on outdoor clothing is growing faster than any other segment of the sporting goods industry in China.

In 2012, Adidas Outdoor began setting up franchised stores in a number of Chinese cities, in anticipation of a boom in sales this year.

Colin Currie, the managing director of Adidas Group, Greater China, added: "Last year, sales grew 15 percent year-on-year, and Adidas aims to maintain double-digit growth, as well as accelerate its store expansion this year."

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