Notice to winter sports enthusiasts: fall is not over yet, and everywhere in Quebec there are already concerns about the risk of equipment shortages for many outdoor activities such as skiing, snowshoeing and snowshoeing. oversized tire bike.
“I do not know if there will be out of stock. But strangely, consumers are really getting ahead of the game this year, ”confirms the head of the cross-country skiing department at Boutique Courir in Montreal.
“Usually, we rarely sell before Halloween. Most customers are waiting for the November snowflakes. But, she continues, it’s totally different this year. We have been selling cross-country skis for at least three weeks! “
Already sold out
The largest manufacturer of snowshoes in North America, Raquettes GV of Wendake, near Quebec, is observing with astonishment the same type of change in customer behavior.
“Our year has been amazing. It’s unheard of, ”confirms its sales director, Patrick Morency. To give you an idea, our September sales were 12 times higher than in previous years! And while it’s not snowing yet, several of our models are already sold out! “
Although unusual, the phenomenon hardly surprises Maxime Dubois, the co-president of Altitude Sports, a major online retailer of sports clothing and equipment. He also understands fears of shortages.
This consumer rush is occurring, he notes, as Quebec enters its second wave of the coronavirus. It also comes after a number of factories had to shut down their activities due to the pandemic.
Since their production has been lower than in previous years, retailers are likely to experience re-stocking difficulties when their inventories start to run out.
The owner of Vélo Spherik, a manufacturer of oversized winter bikes in Quebec, confirms the problem.
“The demand is extraordinary. People have understood that cycling is an ideal activity for distance, ”says Dominique Faure.
The trouble is that while the demand is there, it has become nearly impossible for a retailer to restock on new fatbikes. Everything that has been produced has found a buyer and the parts required to manufacture new fatbikes are lacking.
“I always produce 40% more bikes than expected to meet the unexpected. But I’ve had nothing left for three weeks now! And I would tell you that it probably would have been the same if I had produced twice as much. “
Raccoon, the Rimouski alpine ski manufacturer, is in a similar scenario, explains its co-founder Jonathan Bourgeois. Had it not been for its decision to suspend sales until October 15 to mark its tenth anniversary, the company which sells its skis all over the planet would have already sold all of its annual production.