In a year gripped by the COVID-19 global pandemic and related economic disruption, individuals globally chose outdoor activities – and more specifically running and walking – as convenient and compliant ways to stay active, get fresh air and manage stress. That trend certainly benefitted Brooks Running, as the brand’s market share grew to become the number four adult performance running footwear brand in the U.S. in 2020 with 8.5 percent dollar share, up 1.8 points year over year.
Brooks ended the year with global revenue of nearly $850 million, an increase of 27 percent year over year.
And in a sign of the pandemic times, in 2020, during brick-and-mortar retail closures, Brooks sales online shifted north of 75 percent, stabilizing at 46 percent by year end
In the same period, the company reports that the Brooks Ghost became the number one franchise for adult performance running in the total and run specialty markets combined.
“In 2020, the Brooks team stayed very close to the runner for cues on how to navigate the uncertainty caused by global retail and supply chain disruptions,” says Jim Weber, CEO at Brooks Running. “We quickly found new demand signals to track shifts in running participation and shopping behavior and acted decisively to engage runners and gain market share in every channel of distribution.”
Weber says that Brooks’ investment in its consumer research Run-Sight Lab and singular focus on runners was a major advantage and contributed to 2020 success. With these insights, the brand quickly adjusted its communication approach and reinforced its omni-channel distribution support to engage with runners and make sure they could find Brooks whenever and wherever they chose to research and shop.
Brooks’ Sales & Operations team created a process that included a new demand model to replace retailer signals with cues coming from digital sell-through and running participation. By the middle of the year, this customer-focused process gave the brand the confidence that demand for Brooks was exceeding previous year sales, prompting a green light to reignite production to meet demand.
Brooks also reports that it gained more than three points of performance running dollar-share among runners in 2020 compared to 2019 and for the first time ever became the number two brand among runners based on dollar-share position. Within the final two months of 2020, Brooks was the top adult performance running footwear brand in the athletic specialty/sporting goods (ASSG) channel.
Market statistics provided by The NPD Group/U.S. Consumer Tracking Service, January-December 2020 and the NPD Group/U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Total Measured Market and Run Specialty