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SBD Global/July 17, 2017/Finance

Chinese Winter Sports Push Boosting Overseas Outdoor Brands

German outdoor brand Jack Wolfskin China CEO Frederic Guiral de Haas said that a "state-led push" to promote winter sports in China ahead of the 2022 Beijing Olympics will "help outdoor brands maintain faster sales growth in the country than the overall sportswear market," according to Tom Hancock of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Undeterred by a lack of snow in most of China, public and private investment is "piling into ski slopes." Beijing aims to open 1,000 ski resorts by '30, "almost double" the current number. Real estate developer Dalian Wanda last month opened the world’s largest indoor ski resort in Harbin. De Haas said, "Winter sports is going to be very big for everyone; it's the next frontier. The ambition of the government to develop winter sports is going to create a huge momentum." He said that affluent consumers are "taking up outdoor pursuits such as mountain climbing and hiking," helping the brand's China sales rise more than 15% last year, mainly in premier cities. By comparison, overall sportswear sales in China rose 11% last year (FT, 7/16).
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