Coronavirus: How’s Your Business Affected?

“How’s Your Business Affected?” – that’s the question we put to people directly involved in making things tick in the cross country skiing sector: gear manufacturers, retailers and coaches.

The caveat that needs to be applied: different countries are on different stages of being hit be the coronavirus.

This, alas, is not a subject that will go away any time soon so we shall update with reaction from the other captains of the industry when we hear from them.

Aki Tuovinen, country manager for Swix/Toko, Finland
“At the moment in Finland it’s still quite OK. In Lapland and Vuokatti regions are actually really well, since many ski enthusiasts went there for “remote working”. But it strongly seems that within the week all shops (except grocery shops) will be closed. On a long run, I think this will be good for sports industry. After this is over, people will travel less, enhance family values & wellbeing and probably have more spare time. But it will be hard for many to survive the crash”
Jorge Vidal, founder of Bonés Skiroll, owner of both online and bricks & mortar xcski equipment stores, Spain
“We have new great product in development, but the things have slowed down significantly now. Even if you can keep online meetings, it is not the same when you have to explain or test things like “flexibility” or “cornering”.
When if comes to sales things are on standstill. People can’t leave their houses, in all this week I just sold a pair of poles here in Spain. For the moment I’m keeping sales outside Spain – Russia and Sweden for instance, but now the quarantine is coming there too”
Dmitry Vargin, founder & CEO of Spine Sports, Russia:
” At the moment we are more affected by the severe absence of snow this winter in key markets than the presence of the coronavirus. But things are likely to change.”
Paul Fletcher, marketing manager, Marwe, Finland
“Business as usual, orders are coming in. And as our ski parts are mostly from Finland and the EU, we don’t have a shortage in parts or raw materials compared to those manufacturers who use parts from elsewhere.”
Bjorn Hanson, Out There shop & courses , WI, USA
“‘Short term: now it’s tough as folks are not sure on the future. Already may affect summer training plans etc. Business has just kind of shut off.
Long term: possibly more folks looking to be healthy, gives us all a chance to see how we can be better at what we do. May have an impact on supply chain for 20/21 but maybe that is good”
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