Compared to the usual textile trade, the market for outdoor and sportswear got better through the Corona year. “In relation to classic fashion or the shoe trade, we are the one-eyed among the blind in the sports and outdoor industry,” said Peter Schöffel, head of the outdoor outfitter of the same name, in the podcast “Die Stunden Null” (listen directly here). “People are thirsty to go outside, into nature,” said the company boss, who is the seventh generation to run the family business. That is why the sports and outdoor sector came out of lockdown better.
Nevertheless, Schöffel, with a turnover of 100 million euros most recently, is number two in the German outdoor market behind Jack Wolfskin, and is expecting double-digit sales drops and a loss this year. “We just missed the two months of sales from the spring, and currently still the tourists,” he said. “That hurts in the tills.” Sport and outdoor are heavily dependent on the specialist trade, because both are advice-intensive. “If you factor out the two months of lockdown, however, the sport has reached the sales figures of the previous year.” Articles on the subject of hiking went much better than, say, ski equipment.
The family business Schöffel from Schwabmünchen has existed for over 200 years and started selling stockings in 1804. The family later ran a textile house. Half a century ago Hubert Schöffel began making rain jackets and hiking pants. The incumbent boss Peter Schöffel, 57, recently realigned the outdoor company and entered the market for cycling clothing at the beginning of the year. “The area is booming,” he said.
The family company has always been socially committed. In the lockdown, unlike many other brands, it took the goods ordered from Asia and stored them. That alone cost Schöffel EUR 5 million in liquidity. “But it is the more humane way in the crisis,” said the company boss. You always have to be careful that a brand is not sold off. “With all the online boom, we will need specialist dealers in the future.”
Hear in the new episode of “The Zero Hour”,
- what Peter Schöffel expects for the coming ski season,
- why Schöffel is thinking about its supply chains,
- what Peter Schöffel plans to do on winter vacation.
All episodes directly from Audio Now, Apple or Spotify or via Google.