Outdoor Gear, Facility, Rental Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2021
Domestic Outdoor Gear, Facility, Rental Market for FY2020 Declined by 4.6% to 295,467 million yen, Expected to Recover by 4.0% in FY2021
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) carried out a survey on the domestic outdoor gear, facility, and rental market and found out the trend by outdoor category and the trends of market players.
Size of the domestic outdoor gear, facilities, and rental market in FY2020 was estimated as 295,467 million yen, 95.4 percent of the size of the previous fiscal year. The market share by category was as follows: Of the outdoor gear market, the apparel market (clothing, shoes, rucksacks) occupied 65.3%, the camping & mountain-climbing gear market (tents, camp tarps, tables & chairs, sleeping bags) accounted for 26.2%, followed by the outdoor facility market (camping sites, BBQ sites, Bungalows, cottages, gramping sites, etc.) accounted for 7.9%, and rental market 0.6%.
In the outdoor gear, facilities, and rental market, sales of camping-related equipment had been strong against the backdrop of the camping boom, and lifestyle demand for outdoor clothing and backpacks by leading brands (worn in daily lives and business situations) had also continued expanding and maintained a high growth rate. However, in FY2020, the outdoor apparel market, which accounted for about 65% of the total market, shrank due to voluntary restraints on going out and retail store closures caused by the declaration of a state of emergency, and the entire outdoor gear, facilities, and rental market began to downturn.
In addition, a number of mountain lodges suspended operations to prevent the spread of the disease, making it physically impossible for climbers to go up the mountain, which resulted in a major blow to sales of mountaineering gear (apparel and equipment) and rental of mountaineering goods. The aftermath of the complete ban on entry to Mt. Fuji was particularly significant, forcing many entrants to give up climbing, which had a negative impact on sales of mountaineering goods.
Camping Remained Favorable as a "Safe and Secure Leisure Activity in Line with New Lifestyles”
Camping, which can be enjoyed by families and relatively small groups of people, was affected by the first declaration of the state of emergency, with a large drop in sales as retailers refrained from operating their businesses, but since then, despite in the COVID-19 calamity, camping-related products (apparel and equipment) have been favorably sold, as they have attracted attention as a "safe and secure leisure activity in line with new lifestyles.”
Retailers said that the COVID-19 pandemic had little impact on such groups and that there were a certain number of campers who continued camping because there was growing interest, especially among families and solo campers, in daring to enjoy winter camping in the wilderness during the snow season, which had been considered off-season. However, as mentioned earlier, there were many companies that completely cancelled their operations during the period of the emergency declaration, and the reality seems to be that "although business performance began to recover after June, this was not enough to cover the overall decline in sales," and it is believed that these factors also had an impact on the manufacturers' shipments.
While the outdoor gear, facilities, and rental market is expected to continue growing in the future, changes in its market style need to be carefully watched. In fact, the general perception is that the outdoor market is thriving even in the calamity, and there is no doubt about that. However, it is necessary to distinguish between mountain climbing and camping in terms of the content of the "outdoor market. In addition, as the pandemic comes to an end, the consumption that has been directed toward the outdoor market may disperse to the areas where self-restraint has been called for. As everyday lives gradually return to normal, the market concerned can also be affected.
However, there are many users who have started enjoying outdoor activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes this market possible to expand and remain at a certain level for the next two to three years. Assuming that the pandemic will gradually come to an end, the scale of the outdoor gear, facilities, and rental market in FY2024 is forecast to be 311,130 million yen (105.3% of the FY2020 level).
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