Snowy weather has increased sales of winter sports equipment up to tenfold compared to last winter.
The metropolitan area outdoor ice and ski trails are congested right now.
The snowy frost that occurred at the beginning of January has inspired Finns to engage in winter sports, which can also be seen in exceptionally strong sales in sports equipment stores.
Cross-country skiing equipment, sledges and skates are now especially sought after in the shops. For example, Itäkeskus XXL says that last weekend’s sales were the best in the last two years.
HS toured Helsinki’s sports equipment stores on Monday, when there were enough people in the ski departments for half a day.
Cross-country skis are still well available, but many of the sizes in particular had been sold out in the XXL. The most popular sizes of skates were also scarce.
“In practice, as soon as the snow stays on the ground for a longer period of time, trading begins. A lot of ski equipment has been sold in the last week. The sticks have run out of us and many other places completely, ”says XXL’s ski seller Jari Sopanen.
Coronary pandemic restrictions have already led Finns to go outdoor. This has worked well for sports equipment retailers, as many consumers have used the money they have saved from canceling trips abroad to buy new equipment.
For traditional-style cross-country skiing, especially the so-called fur soles are acquired, which allow you to ski with quite a bit of effort.
Sopanen reminds that it is also good to lubricate the hair bases at the beginning of the season, when later you can manage with lighter maintenance lubrication.
“Especially here in Eastern Helsinki, many customers have been purchasing their first skis for a long time. Even children have started to buy a lot of fur soles, and in general, traditional style skis and ski boots are about 80 percent of all packages sold, ”he says.
Skates suitable for higher speeds are also in demand, but the selection is slightly narrower than traditional style skis. This had to be stated by a resident of Helsinki Tessa Auvinen.
“I’ve been to pretty much all the movements in the surrounding region, and any difficult to find me a suitable sets of skating style of skiing,” Auvinen says.
Ordinary finding a plastic sled is also not easy at the moment. In many grocery stores, the shelves are already empty.
Instead, there was still a small batch of traditional plastic bars on offer at Itäkeskus Prisma on Monday.
“These came this morning, but the pile has already become quite dull,” says the consumer goods product group manager. Pertti Riikonen.
According to him, hair and grip soles are also sought from Prisma. Families with children in particular come to the ski equipment shops when making other purchases. During the winter season, for example, electric fatbike bikes are also on sale, the sales of which, according to Riikonen, have grown significantly recently.
In the center of Helsinki, winter sports equipment is sold, for example, by Intersport in Forum, which specializes in the sale of snowboards in addition to cross-country skiing and downhill skiing.
Store manager Markku Toponen says that the development of the weather will have a decisive effect on the winter sports equipment trade.
“There are now two worse winters below. That means many families have been left with skis and sleds altogether. Now that the snow is coming, there is also a lot of pent-up demand, ”Toponen says.
According to him, last winter the weather was so watery that less winter sports equipment was sold than usual. Now the snowy early winter has mobilized consumers, with sales in many product groups up to ten times higher than in the previous year.
In addition to skiing and downhill equipment, studded shoes, skates and other winter outdoor equipment, for example, are being traded at a rapid pace.
However, one snowy week does not guarantee success yet. For example, in the winter of 2018–2019, the good weather in the early winter was changed to rain during January.
“We had just had time to order new stuff for the warehouse when sales plummeted. This winter looks better, and there has been so much snow that it will be enough until spring, ”says Toponen.
Sporting goods chain CEO of XXL Pasi Lämpsän according to winter weather dramatically increases sales when conditions are ideal: enough snow but not too much frost.
Until last winter, the company was in big trouble. January sales were the worst in the company’s history, and large clearing sales had to be implemented in February. In Finland alone, XXL wrote down by seven million euros products that sold to customers at a staggering loss during the clearance sale.
In the spring and summer, however, the trend changed as consumers became enthusiastic about buying outdoor equipment and water sports equipment. The increased sales of bicycles and electric bicycles were also reflected positively in the company’s economy in the summer.
“The perfect downturn led to a record-breaking summer season. We will tell you more about the end of the year in connection with the announcement of the results at the beginning of February, ”says Lämpsä.
According to him, retailers in the industry are now doing well, as consumers are increasingly looking for outdoor and winter sports when many hobbies and cinemas are closed.
Of course, the weather also matters.
“Of course, the law is that skis sell better in snow than in rain. But people also do a lot of telecommuting and want to spend their free time outdoors. It is also visible in our successful sales, ”says Lämpsä.