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Outdoor industry in 2024: highs, lows, and resilience

"Resilient Industry"
“Resilient Industry”

The first half of 2024 was a mixed bag for the outdoor industry, with notable experiences of both highs and lows, according to industry expert Kate Robertson. Corporate consolidations and IPOs were key markers of this period, along with innovative product launches stimulating some areas of growth.

Insightfully, Robertson drew attention to intensifying competition and the increasingly crucial role of sustainability initiatives. However, challenges such as economic fluctuations, shifting consumer behavior, and erratic weather pattern disrupted some sectors.

The outdoor industry underwent significant leadership changes, while excess inventory and a challenging wholesale market continued to pose problems. Despite this, many companies demonstrated notable resilience, adopting tactics like reducing production costs, leveraging inventory management software, and focusing on direct-to-consumer sales.

A surprising development was a failed viral promotional campaign from Solo Brands in collaboration with rapper Snoop Dogg, leading to the resignation of John Merris.

2024 outdoor industry: highs, lows, and resilience revisited

This setback saw Christopher Metz stepping into the CEO role, expressing optimism and vision for the brand’s future.

On a positive note, the acquisition of Mystery Ranch by Yeti and the latter’s foray into the cookware industry with an additional acquisition demonstrated strategic diversification. Mystery Ranch’s direct-to-consumer sales even outperformed expectations under Yeti’s ownership.

Brands such as Hoka, On, Vuori, Cotopaxi, Helly Hansen, 686, and Kuhl experienced increased sales due to rising casual consumer expenditure. As health concerns post-pandemic subsided, there was a noticeable upturn in sports participation and adventure tourism.

The year also saw Amer Sports, parent company of Arc’teryx, Salomon, and Atomic, announce plans to list its stocks on the U.S. exchange. Particularly, Arc’teryx was singled out for its impressive revenue growth, pointing at a promising future.

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