People went running more than ever in 2020, and it appears many of them also discovered Brooks.
The Seattle-based company revealed today that it ended the year with about $850 million in overall revenue, an increase of 27% from 2019.
“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,” Brooks CEO Jim Weber said in a statement. “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.”
Additionally, as layoffs occurred throughout the athletic industry and across much of the retail sector, Brooks bucked the trend. In fact, the brand added 100 employees last year.
The company attributed some of its success to multichannel retail wins, noting that its online sales climbed more than 75% as brick-and-mortar retail closures ramped up. Digital sales leveled off to a still-impressive 46% increase by the end 2020.
The brand also cited The NPD Group Inc. data for year ending December 2020 to highlight some of its achievements. Most notably, the brand was the No. 4 adult performance running footwear brand in the U.S., with 8.5% dollar share (up 1.8 points from the previous year).
Additional NPD data showed that Brooks gained more than 3 points of performance running dollar-share among runners compared to 2019. Plus, it became the No. 2 brand among runners — based on dollar share position — for the first time. (Specifically for the last two months, data revealed that Brooks was the No. 1 adult performance running footwear brand in the athletic specialty/sporting goods channel.)
Internally, Brooks said its singular focus on runners in 2020 — with the help of its consumer research Run-Sight Lab — allowed it to adjust how it communicates and reinforce its omnichannel positioning.
Brooks said its sales and operations team created a customer-focused process featuring a new demand model “to replace retailer signals with cues coming from digital sell-through and running participation.” Because of this, Brooks stated that demand was greater than previous year sales, and because of this, it ramped up the production to meet that demand.
Although the year is young, The NPD Group Inc. senior sports industry adviser Matt Powell has already offered insight into categories Brooks can win in 2021 — most notably women’s performance running shoes.
Powell revealed on Twitter late last month that Brooks, positioned at No. 2 last year in the category, is on the path to pass Nike for the top spot in 2021. The industry insider revealed to FN that Brooks sales in the category was up about a third, while Nike’s were down roughly 20%.
“[Brooks is] focused on the female consumer, they realize the opportunity there,” Powell told FN. “And as many of the performance running brands that are in run specialty know, the women’s business in the channel is equal to or greater than the men’s business. [Brooks has] had a lot of experience about building her up, and it’s paying off for them now.”