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Clear Opportunities Emerging in Mainland Family Outdoor Fun Market

15 February 2016 15:20

The changing lifestyles of many affluent mainlanders has led to an increased interest in outdoor sports. Typically, these are seen as the antidote to cramped living conditions and stressful career requirements.

At present, exploration trips and hiking expeditions constitute the mainstays of the mainland’s adult-focussed outdoor sports scene. This has led to increased demand for wind- and cold-resistant clothing, as well as expectations of high levels of versatility and durability for such equipment, particularly when it comes to hiking shoes and windbreakers. These requirements have seen the emergence of a number of now market-leading outdoor sports equipment brands, notably Toread Outdoor Sports and Columbia Sportswear.

Spending on outdoor sports products across the mainland totalled Rmb18.05 billion in 2013, according to official figures, with some 891 brands jostling for consumer attention. Overall, the quality and design of domestically produced equipment in the sector is seen as having gradually matured.

At the same time, the increasing cost and risk involved in many of the more extreme outdoor sports has seen a niche sector emerge. Mountaineering and mountain biking, in particular, require high-end equipment, with the cost frequently proving prohibitive for less affluent consumers. To a certain extent, this has dampened the optimism of a number of manufacturers with regard to the long-term prospects of the more extreme end of the sector.

At the other end of the spectrum, there continues to be growth in outdoor pursuits of a more moderate nature. Typically, such activities see families driving out to the countryside of a weekend, enjoying picnics and even camping out. Such activities require no professional coaching and only entail a moderate outlay. The child-friendly and healthy nature of these activities has also ensured their enduring popularity.

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