COVID-19 Survey Results Nov 20


The industry’s innovative strength was a helpful asset to navigate this crisisridden year.

The World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) is pleased to share with you the outcome of the latest edition of its WFSGI COVID-19 Impact Survey. The WFSGI wishes to express its special thank all respondents who have contributed to this exercise by filling in the survey throughout the past year. This valuable participation has made it possible to provide insights and allow predictions for the future of the sporting goods businesses in these particularly challenging times.

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

“It is promising to see that orders at global scale are no longer steeply decreasing. However, the fact that social distancing measures cause labor shortage for more than half of the respondents is showing us that the virus is still not under control. This finding is backed by the large number of sporting goods professionals putting employees’ health on top of their priorities.


A large percentage of over 70% do not expect any further regression which is again a positive sign. This is countered by nearly a third of respondents who don’t see a rebound of their business.


The 100% of respondents asking for flexibility of suppliers, altogether with the high number of representatives opting for lean and adaptive supply chain transformations, shows us clearly that our sector still needs agility to counter the impact of the pandemic.


With environmentally friendly products still topping the list of the most important trends and outdoor sports staying on top of the prevailing activities, we have at least two elements that have remained stable throughout the past year. At the end of the year we have to conclude that the pandemic does still not allow for our industry to find a stable situation.


The ever changing increase and decrease of infections on a regional basis is further requesting from our businesses to adapt quickly and focus on the innovative strengths of sporting goods business. We hope that we will find a more stable situation in the New Year and I express my special thanks to all of you for having contributed to this survey series.”


Manufacturing Companies Responses:

DEMAND: Orders are globally no longer steeply decreasing, in fact the situation has improved for most of the Regions and especially in Europe and US & Canada.

LOGISTICS: The closure of the supplier factories seems not to trigger any longer material shortage, while the production bottlenecks are the main reason for over 57% of the respondents this month.

SUPPLY: Far East still faces important disruption. Supply chain disruption from Europe, US & Canada increased slightly while only in South Asia the supply chain disruption has decreased.

LABOR: The percentage of companies that are no longer confronted with labour shortage remains over 57%. This month the main reason of shortage of labors is social distancing measures together with the increasing number of staff that have to take care of family members.

LEGAL: There is an alternating very low difference between sporting goods members being impacted by legal requirements or not. This moth about 14% more respondents consider themselves not being impacted by regulatory measures.

FINANCE: This month the trend shows that low cash flow is no longer an issue for over 71% of the respondent.

REGRESSION: Over 71% declared that they will not see a drop of their business. This is the highest percentage we have registered since April.

RECOVERY: There is a clear sign of less confidence in recovery this month: 27% of respondents don’t expect any rebound of their business. Regarding the time frame necessary for the recovery, over one quarter think that they will need over 1 year to recover, however the majority of 42% think that their business will need between 91-180 days.

MEASURES: No one is planning workers retrenchment for this month add an idea to sustain their operations. The large majority of respondents still have a plan to sustain operations with a special focus on consolidating production capacities and lean producti

Retail and Brand Companies Responses:

IMPACT MITIGATION: Increasing online sales remains the most chosen option by over 83% to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. All other options have received from less than 35% of participants approval. Focusing on the fast recovering Asian markets registered the lowest percentage since April as a strategy to mitigate the sharp impact from the market shut down.

REPERCUSSION: Since July, there is an alternating of the majority between consolidating the supply base and keeping the supply base but attributing less orders to each supplier. Deferring payment flows is further losing support since August.

PRIORITY: The highest score for companies’ priorities this month is employees health with 83% followed by market share and cash position which are both at 50% of respondents’ choice.

EXPECTATIONS: With 100% of respondents asking for flexibility of suppliers, this answer stays in the leading position throughout the beginning of this survey.

TRANSFORMATION: Lean and adaptive supply chain transformation is remaining the most attractive solution while being close to the market seems no longer an option for this month.

SOURCING PRIORITIES: The trend continues with a surge of 80% of respondents who confirmed they are not reframing their sourcing priorities.

MARKET TRENDS: Environmentally Friendly Products remain ahead from the other trends since June. On the other side, Recycle economies reached 0% votes since the beginning of this survey.

PREVAILING SPORTS: Outdoor took back the lead with over 83% as the product category that will prevail after the pandemic followed by Running with over 66%.