Global Sporting Goods Industry shows positive uptick but remains severely impacted by Covid-19.

The World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) is pleased to share with you the outcome of the June 2020 edition of its WFSGI Covid-19 Impact Survey. The WFSGI was now in position to compare this latest data collection with the results of the surveys of April and May. By pursuing this exercise the WFSGI will be able to assess the practical impact of COVID-19 for the sporting goods industry. With these key insights, the WFSGI wants to support industry leaders to manage the crisis and track the key trends of the Sporting Goods Industry to prepare the transition into the ‘new normal’.

The WFSGI President & CEO, Robbert de Kock commented on the last survey edition:

“The latest WFSGI pulse survey results show signs of minor improvement from the global industry. These signs have to be treated with cautious optimism and re-evaluated against next month’s results, however, as there are no significant key changes. For example, while this month we saw a slight increase in demand we also saw companies reporting more important material shortage.


A positive development is the lower labour shortage. However, this could be impacted by company’s plans to consolidate production capacities.


The industry is also still experiencing cash flow issues and the ongoing challenge of clearing existing inventories and consolidating supply chains are trends that suggest this pandemic will have a sustained negative impact on our industry. The WFSGI will continue in its efforts to provide you with relevant information about the impact of COVID-19 on the global industry. We thank you in advance for supporting our efforts by participating in the July edition of the WFSGI pulse survey.”

To provide you with the best possible information, we would encourage all interested sporting goods companies to participate in the July’s pulse survey, this survey is open to any sporting goods company no matter if you are a WFSGI member or not. No individual respondents information or company data is requested, the survey is completely anonymous and takes no longer than 3 minutes to be filled in


Manufacturing Companies Responses:

On the demand side orders seem to decrease less. Compared to the last two months in all regions a slight improvement has been reported except for Latin America where the situation has aggravated.

On the supply side double as many respondents as last month face material shortage in the sporting goods industry.

Supply chain disruption remains roughly unchanged. With regard to the geographical impact, disruption only continues to diminish for Far East and Europe whereas it slightly increased in all other regions.

Labor shortage remains a challenge for 40% of respondents. This is however a positive development as it is more than 10% less than last month. Travel restrictions and closed public transport are still impacting staff’s ability to pursue their tasks.

An unchanged percentage of over 75% of sporting goods manufacturing companies are still impacted by specifically implemented regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is a slight decrease of respondents facing issues due to low cash flow. But the number remains high with nearly 70% of manufacturing plants continues to be challenged by low cash flow.

Looking ahead, 84% of survey participants forecast that the Covid-19 pandemic will impact their business. Again, this is just a little improvement of 6% compared to last month. Compared to the last months, nobody expects a business drop of more than 90%.

While only 7% of the industry respondents do not expect any recovery, there are only half as many respondents as last month expecting a near-complete recovery between 70 and 90%. Most survey participants expect a recovery within 91 to 180 days, while 30% think it will take more than a year.
The regions mostly affected by the crisis remain Europe and Northern America according to over 60% of respondents.

Close to 50% rely on government loans and financial assistance.

While the pandemic lasts on, businesses seem to develop plans to counter the impact of this crisis. There are less than 10% of respondents having no measures planned, that’s half as many as when the survey was initiated at the beginning of the pandemic.

With a total of 60%, most of the participants want to consolidate production capacities followed by relying on government loans, which is an option for 50% of respondents. A downtrend is apparent for measures such as retrenching workers and adopting lean production.

Retail and Brand Companies Responses:

It seems that the measures to impact mitigation set down yet as the trend changes and response rates are again going into the same direction as in April and not pursuing the direction of May. Increasing online sales (77%) and clean out existing inventories (40%) remain the most chosen strategies.

With regard to the repercussion of the mitigation measures to suppliers, only 12% of brand companies consider deferring payments, that’s a significant change compared to the past months (60% in April, 47% in May). In return, 15% more respondents than in April are considering to consolidate their supply chains.

The order of priorities for companies remains unchanged compared to the last months. As of June a high percentage of nearly 60% of respondents have explained that employees’ health is priority now.

Respondents have selected nearly the same order of expectations towards suppliers as they did in April, with flexibility remaining key.

When transforming the supply chains, increasing importance is paid to being close to market, innovation and disruptive solutions. Lean and adaptive supply chain transformation is further loosing attractiveness amongst respondents with only half of them opting for this change. Being cost sensitive is as unattractive as never since the survey start.

Significantly more respondents intend to change their sourcing priorities. The trend goes on that there is a shift from global to local and regional market centric sourcing.

Environmental friendly solutions are the only future market trend that sees a slight increase this month. Price points centric trends and recycle economies seem to be less likely according to respondents.

Survey participants keep the same order of sports prevailing after the pandemic: outdoor followed by cycling and running.