Interface News Reporter | Qin Siyue
Interface News Editor | Shi Yiying
In this year's Double 11 Tmall outdoor brand sales rankings, the first name changed hands.
After the dust settled, last year's No. 1 and traditional American outdoor brand The North Face was squeezed into second place, and the domestic brand Camel became the new champion.
This year, the domestic outdoor brands represented by camels launched a collective impact on overseas brands.
In the same list last year, only one domestic brand, Camel, entered the Top 10. This year, Camel won the first place, Bo Xihe made it to the top five, and Kellerstone was also on the TOP10 list.
It is gratifying that domestic brands have won the top spot in outdoor sales and that many brands occupy high positions. But in the jacket market, how can camels gain a firm foothold?
· The new champion of the jacket, what does the camel rely on
Not only on the Tmall platform, Camel has also performed well on other e-commerce platforms this year.
According to the data of Mojing Market Intelligence and Giant Arithmetic, in the first half of this year, the camel brand ranked first in the market share of the jacket category on the e-commerce platform, with a sales growth rate of more than 400%, much higher than that of overseas brands.
In terms of price, the average price of domestic brands is generally low, but the price has increased significantly. As of January 2023, the average annual sales price of the camel brand is 475 yuan, an increase of nearly 6% year-on-year.
What nourishes the growth of camels is the burgeoning Chinese outdoor market.
Luka, head of Tmall's outdoor footwear and apparel category operation, told Jiemian News that the outdoor category has maintained high growth in recent years: "The compound growth rate of outdoor shoes and clothing has exceeded 20% for two consecutive years since 2021, and the growth rate of jackets and sunscreen clothing is even around 50%. ”
Luka believes that this high growth trend will continue in the coming years.
In fact, mid-to-high-end outdoor brands such as North Face and Arc'teryx are still performing well this year.
North Face is one of the few brands under parent company VF that has maintained growth: in fiscal year 2023, North Face generated $3.613 billion in annual revenue, up 11% year-over-year.
Amer Sports, the parent company of Arc'teryx, has not yet been listed, and Arc'teryx has no public financial data for reference.
However, in 2022, Amalfen reported its best performance ever, with 21.8% year-on-year revenue growth and profitability in 2022. Anta Group also revealed that in the first half of this year, Arc'teryx's revenue rose by 70%.
But the soaring North and Archaeopteryx were overtaken by camels.
The user portrait of the keyword "jacket" on Douyin in the past six months shows that more than half of users under the age of 30 are under the age of 30. This group of people is the main consumer group of camels.
Users under the age of 30, especially students, have low incomes and low purchasing power, but they have a demand for fashion wear. Young people want to catch up with the Archaeopteryx to bring up the jacket is fashionable, but they can't afford to raise a "bird".
In this context, a "flat" brand like Camel has become their second choice.
Chen Shu, a sophomore studying at 985 in Shanghai, told reporters: "I usually only have living expenses from my parents and some income from being a tutor. It's true that you can't pay for a four-figure jacket. ”
Li Ke, who is studying for a Ph.D. in engineering in Beijing, agrees, even if he has an additional doctoral subsidy compared to undergraduates.
"I don't feel that guilty about buying camels. Li Ke said.
In terms of channel layout, Camel is also targeting young consumers.
Camel is one of the first outdoor brands to complete the layout of the whole e-commerce platform, and has official flagship stores on Taobao, JD.com, Douyin, Kuaishou and other platforms.
This is clearly in line with the spending habits of younger consumers who prefer online shopping.
· How does the camel upgrade the coffee next?
Getting the first place in the outdoor category sales on the e-commerce platform does not mean that camels can sit back and relax.
Throughout the history of the development of the outdoor sports market, most of the traditional big brands that can maintain long-term growth in this segment are positioned in the middle and high-end, while brands such as Camel and Pathfinder are still in the three-digit price range.
The reason why Archaeopteryx is priced so high is directly related to the use of high-end fabrics in its jackets.
At present, most of the mid-to-high-end jacket products on the market use Gore-Tex fabric. The patent of this fabric currently belongs to Gore Company of the United States, and it is also widely used in professional clothing such as spacesuits and mountaineering suits.
The cost of Gore-Tex fabrics is very high, and the cost of products using this fabric starts in the four figures.
For jackets, the level of waterproof and moisture permeable performance mainly depends on the polymer waterproof and breathable material, which previously mainly relied on overseas companies.
If domestic brands don't want to use Gore-Tex fabrics, they can only use fabrics that are not of such good quality or self-developed fabrics.
The best-selling Phantom Black jacket in the store during Camel Tmall uses the brand's self-developed ENFO material. During the Double 11 period, consumers can buy this jacket for only 459 yuan.
But the jacket that can be bought in the small three digits still has questions about performance and quality.
On November 13, when the reporter searched for "camel jacket" as the keyword in Xiaohongshu, the most relevant note was a "lightning protection" note.
The author of the note believes that the products he bought are "of poor quality on the inside", "the stitches are not neat", and "the shell is rough".
Some netizens in the comment area also raised the problem of poor quality of the inner liner and poor upper body effect, and some netizens also said, "Less than 400 yuan, wearing a style, it is also worth it".
Mr. Wang, the former head of a mountaineering club at a university in Shanghai, told Jiemian News that during his time at the university, he had organized club members to climb many peaks above 4,000 meters above sea level in China.
Mr. Wang told Jiemian News: "Professional outdoor enthusiasts will not choose affordable brands. In the plains, maybe that's what it is. Really go to the extremely cold and windy environment, the jacket is life-saving. When I was studying, I wore mammoths and Colombians a lot, and now the younger generations of the community seem to wear more north. ”
Taking Archaeopteryx as an example, the official price of Archaeopteryx's BETA DOWN jacket on Tmall is 10,000 yuan. According to the product page, the jacket fabric is a Gore-Tex double-layer structural fabric.
In the highly praised posts recommended by Zhihu Mountaineering Jacket, almost no posters recommend camels. Arc'teryx, Columbia, North Face and Patagonia are the most mentioned brands.
Obviously, Camel's self-developed fabric has not received much recognition.
Not only camels, but also many domestic brands are developing their own fabrics and do not want to lose the initiative in the jacket market.
In September this year, ANTA and Donghua University jointly launched China's first self-developed high-performance waterproof and breathable material "Anta Membrane" and rainstorm-proof "Storm Armor".
"Storm Armor" has not yet been officially put on sale, and can only be used as a reference for Kaile Stone's products. The brand's jacket products are basically more than four figures, and the brand's flagship MONT MAX jacket is priced at 4,800 yuan.
It is not difficult to find that whether it is overseas or domestic fabrics, it is difficult to reduce the cost to ensure high performance.
"You get what you pay for. Maybe the young people want to wear cheap jackets for a while," Wang Li told Jiemian News, "but to conquer us old outdoor people, we have to be the traditional brands of the North and Colombia with excellent quality." ”
· More and more opponents
In addition to overcoming technical difficulties, camels also need to pay attention to the fact that the young consumer group they hold is a piece of cake with strong liquidity.
Camping and frisbee, which were popular among young people last year, are no longer popular this year, and the WeChat index of both keywords has shown a sharp downward trend this year. The WeChat index of the "frisbee" keyword fell by nearly 40%.
On the other hand, the north and Archaeopteryx itself rely on the high-end market to eat: Archaeopteryx relies on the label of "middle-aged three treasures" to get out of the circle, and the north also has a good reputation among young and middle-aged people.
Compared with younger consumers, middle-aged and elderly groups have higher spending power and are more willing to pay for products. As a result, this group has become the object of competition for major high-end brands.
At the same time, if you want to catch the attention of young people, the design of products also needs to be constantly updated.
Taking the north as an example, before the popularity of jackets this year, the down jackets in the north were also one of the "school uniforms" for young people.
In 2014, the market for the co-branded cashew flower down jacket launched by North Face and Chao brand Supreme was hot. Subsequently, the design team of North Face has successively launched products in collaboration with luxury brand Gucci, fashion brand KAWS, and trendy brand CLOT.
With excellent quality and eye-catching design, North Face's revenue has risen year after year, and last year it surpassed Columbia, which has occupied the top spot in the jacket market for many years.
The latter has been criticized the most in the Chinese market in the past two years because "the style has not changed".
Dong Li, vice president and executive director of North Facing Asia Pacific, told Jiemian News that the fashion and functionality of North Face's lifestyle product line is an important reason for the brand to attract consumers.
Dong Li said: "The professional outdoor product line in the north (for athletes and consumers with rich outdoor experience) accounts for about 30% of the product lines, and the remaining 70% or so are lifestyle product lines that are well-known by mass consumers. ”
Unlike the north, domestic brands such as camels currently lack products that are out of the circle because of their unique design. This is also a common problem of "flat" brands.
In general, the design of Camel's current jacket products is similar to most of the products on the market: either solid color models, or the splicing of pure color blocks, which are more traditional designs.
In addition, it is not only the "traditional powerhouses" like the north that need to be vigilant for camels.
While Arc'teryx and North Face firmly grasp the high-end market of jackets, a large number of comprehensive sports brands are also entering the game: Canadian sports brand lululemon has launched a "small umbrella" jacket from the women's market that it is good at, and the two giants Nike and Adidas have also launched some new jackets in the past two years.
Dong Li told Jiemian News: "When outdoor sports gradually penetrate into sports and outdoor sports become a big category, the consumer base can actually ensure the rapid growth of the outdoor sports industry in a long period of time." ”
According to the in-depth research report of CITIC Securities, the market size of outdoor sports in China is expected to exceed 100 billion yuan by 2035.
With the expansion of the market, the consumption concept of consumers in the jacket market is bound to become more and more mature.
Winning young consumers from the low-end "volume" is only the first step of the camel. The camel also has to think about how to go longer on the track of the jacket.
(The interviewees Li Ke and Chen Shu in the article are pseudonyms)