June 17, 2020
Much has been written on the impact of the COVID pandemic over the past four months, but as we steadily emerge from the shelter-in-place orders, we should be looking for opportunities in the outdoor space. There are a number of interesting dynamics that are occurring that stand to benefit certain companies, including the increasing desire to spend more time in outdoor activities and an accelerating shift to casual fashion.
With an added focus on social distancing, consumers may shift preferences in leisure activities. They may avoid close contact sports and instead opt for more insulated activities, like hiking, skiing, kayaking or golf. In addition to shifting activities, with so many people working from home and relaxing their home-based dress codes, many casual and outdoor apparel companies may stand to benefit. Here are a few companies that might be worth looking into as consumer behaviors evolve.
Clarus Corporation (Tii:CLAR) is an outdoor company that is most known for its Black Diamond segment which offers a broad range of apparel and equipment for hard-core outdoor activities. Black Diamond products are used in climbing, mountaineering, trail running, backpacking, skiing, and other outdoor recreation activities.
Columbia Sportswear Company (Tii:COLM) has built its business in outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment under the Columbia, Mountain Hard Wear, SOREL and prAna brand names. Columbia hits well on both of the trends, as their products are routinely used in skiing, snowboarding, hiking, climbing, mountaineering, camping, hunting, fishing, trail running, water sports, yoga, golf, and adventure travel.
NIKE, Inc. (Tii:NKE) may benefit from reinvigorated focus on fitness as well as the shift to more casual fashion trends. In addition to the iconic NIKE brand, the company markets footwear, clothing and accessories under the Jordan brand, Converse and Chuck Taylor brands, as well as youth lifestyle apparel under the Hurley brand.
V.F. Corporation (Tii:VFC) is another company that stands to benefit from both greater outdoor activity levels and more casual fashion trends. The company markets apparel, footwear and related products under brands such as the North Face, Timberland, Icebreaker, Smartwool, Vans, Kipling, Eastpak, JanSport and Dickies.
Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (Tii:WWW) is a footwear and apparel company that may also benefit from the outdoor and casual fashion trends. In the outdoor space, the company markets under strong brands like Merrell, Chaco, Saucony and Wolverine, while in the casual space they have the iconic Hush Puppies brand along with Sperry and Keds.
Once you get over your COVID Cabin Fever™ perhaps you might venture out with some of the great outdoor and casual brands owned by these companies.