Pulse Survey


Helping the industry to feel the pulse – the WFSGI COVID-19 Survey 

The COVID-19 pandemic defied the entire sporting goods industry. Beside the multitude of new challenges arising, the uncertainty about the near future was an imminent issue that made it difficult for SGI companies to take the right decisions. 

The topic was discussed with the members of the WFSGI Manufacturing Committee. At the beginning of the pandemic, these companies were at the front line of the challenge. It became clear that there is no information source available shedding light on the situation in the different regions and trying to predict short term developments.  

Therefore, the WFSGI was looking into a solution to fill this void and help the industry to understand what might be ahead. In close collaboration with members, the WFSGI developed a survey which was meant to gather the right information on how the sporting goods industry copes with the pandemic and where the problems lie 

To provide meaningful feedback to the respondents of the survey, it was crucial to investigate how the situations evolved. For this purpose, it was decided to conduct the survey on monthly basis and compare the results over time 
This gave the WFSGI also the opportunity to update the survey progressively according to feedbacks received. 

At the end of every month, the results were compiled and compared to the ones from the prior months. The outcome was showcased on a monthly basis in a graph with some explanatory notes and submitted to the WFSGI constituency. With the information gathered and compared, the WFSGI intended to provide its members a point of reference and basis for taking specific decisions.  

The WFSGI was very positive about the high number of industry representatives taking part in the survey. And this despite holiday periods and the fact that the WFSGI was entering a new field of activity.  

The results of the survey showed first that the situation was very volatile. While it seemed that things are going in a positive direction in one region, the trend was reversed the month after or negatively impacted by the situation in another region. This was mainly also due to the interdependencies between manufacturing companies located in one region and retail and brand companies in other regions. Thus, the sporting goods industry was impacted due to its truly global structure.

It was also quite evident, that the developments announced in the news were mirrored in the responses of participants of this survey. If the infection rates in a region were increasing, companies were facing labor shortage due to infected staff or staff taking care of infected family members. 

After all, the survey also showed in an obvious manner, that the sporting goods companies are quickly adapting and very responsive to find solutions to arising challenges. Whereas the beginning of the pandemic was scarred by supply chain disruption, material shortage, etc. These issues were less of a problem the longer the pandemic persisted. 

Even though this was the first time that the WFSGI conducted such a repetitive survey to gather data, it was very well received and beside the positive feedback from the industry, the WFSGI was also requested by non-sporting goods media to talk about this exercise.

With that said and taking the feedbacks and the active contribution of the companies into account, the WFSGI will in the future further monitor the industry’s need for specific information and data. Based on the experiences made, the WFSGI will quickly be ready to implement new surveys to serve its members with the necessary insights and relevant data from the sector. 

See the results of the WFSGI COVID-19 Pulse Survey here: 

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