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Camping Gear A Bright Spot for Outdoor Retailers

Products used by tent campers are on the rise.

Camping appears to be continuing its comeback, thanks to experience-hungry Millennials. A new study from the NPD Group reports that while overall sales in the outdoor industry are falling, down 4% to $18.9 billion in the latest 12-month period, items like packs, outerwear and some camping are rising, according to Marketing Daily.

Noting that passenger traffic is growing at the world’s busiest airports and that Americans are spending even more time in national parks, it says that sales of travel packs rose 5%, duffle bags 3% and fanny packs are up 9%. Sales of top-of-car storage systems that make packing the family up easier, including boxes and baskets, jumped 8%.

“Brands and products that help consumers on their travels are winning in a declining outdoor market,” writes Matt Powell, NPD’s vice president and senior industry advisor. “But the industry has in some ways overlooked this trend, leaving additional growth opportunities on the table. Outdoor brands and retailers must do more to tap into this ongoing travel trend.”

NPD reports that while sales of tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads/mattresses have declined, product sales that indicate consumers are using tents more are on the rise: Purchases of tent vestibules rose 5%, for example, and tent poles, 4%. And people are buying more camping stoves and chairs.

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