The 2008 camping season has been a tough season for traders and campers alike with poor weather conditions affecting many camping holidays. The outdoor trade has also experienced a rise in retail prices since April. Prices in the outdoor camping market have been mainly decreased over the last two to three years with internet companies discounting heavily. The tent market has been hit the hardest by this discounting with margins decreasing steadily affecting the smaller retailers and their ability to compete.
However in 2009 that may all be set to change with trade prices on camping equipment rising 30 – 40 percent with most suppliers. The two main camping suppliers AMG (Vango, Lichfield) and Oase (Outwell) are expecting manufacturing costs to rise 30 percent which in turn will be passed onto the consumer. The consumer will be buying the same product as in 2008 but will be paying upto 30 percent more for it, although this may not affect the small tent market, the family market may suffer.
For example, the average price of an Outwell Hartford XL is currently around £299, this will be expected to rise to £399. The same for the Montana 6 which is currently around £329, this is expected to jump to £440. The higher value tents are going to suffer immensely and it may lead to customers reverting back to the smaller tents as prices spiral upwards.
This rise in prices is simultaneous to the fuel cost rises and the changes to manufacturing laws in China. The cost of importing goods has increased due to high oil costs and employment laws in China have changed the way goods are manufactured with the factory workers receiving a fairer pay and better working conditions.
So what does all this mean for the consumer? Well the answer is quite simple, rising costs will be passed directly onto the customer looking to go camping in 2009 would be wiser to purchase their camping equipment now.