Inside Outdoor Retailer

Guest Post: What does it mean to be outdoorsy?

Matt Powell, Vice President and Industry Analyst, The NPD Group explores the modern meaning of ‘outdoorsy.’


Does someone have to be extreme or adventurous to be considered ‘outdoorsy?’ How about camping on the rooftop of an apartment building, roasting marshmallows around a backyard fire pit, hiking a local trail, or ‘hammocking’ among the trees on a college campus – do these activities count? I would argue that they most certainly do.

‘Outside’ has become very important to the outdoor industry, as consumers more frequently turn to personal, familiar space or seek the comforts of home for their outdoor experiences. The fact that consumers are opting for these activities to fulfill their outdoor itch means that industries from equipment to footwear and apparel need to broaden their marketing scope to reach this level of the outdoorsy consumer.

With growth in products including camping equipment and hiking/lite hiking footwear, we see that consumers are, in fact, embracing the outdoors. This is especially important to Millennials, who wish to share these outdoor values in the way they dress, play, work, and express themselves. But while consumers want to experience the outdoors, they would also like to keep some comforts of home with them. This has spurred greater interest in products such as high-tech coolers and portable, easy-to-use hammocks – categories which experienced strong, triple- and double-digit growth in 2015.

As the great outdoors becomes more entwined with everyday places and activities, outdoor retailers and manufacturers need to keep this trend top of mind when determining their marketing strategies, and how to resonate with all walks of the outdoorsy consumer.

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service, U.S. Outdoor Industry View, Annual 2015

Community Call: What does ‘outdoorsy’ mean to your brand? Have you experienced a shift in your outdoor customer base? #weareOUTDOOR

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