Before the winter season, skis became 20 percent more expensive year-on-year and downhill skis with bindings were sold for an average of CZK 8,800, according to statistics. Those who are now going to buy ski equipment can find significant discounts in shops and online shops. Demand is weaker.
“In a year-on-year comparison, we observe a decline in interest in ski equipment from users on Zboží.cz in the December data,” Kateřina Nejedlá, a data analyst at Seznam.cz, said. She sees a drop in interest in downhill skis of a tenth, and in cross-country skis of 70 percent. Many skiers went to the store to buy new cross-country skis the previous winter when the lifts were forced to shut down.
“There is a drop in demand, but it’s also because not everything people want is on offer,” said Jan Červencl, product manager at Happy Sport stores.
He recalled that the large Fischer cross-country ski factory in Ukraine burned down before the war and could not resume production during the war. Other manufacturers are waiting for materials, such as plastics imported from Asia.
“I know from my own experience that a minor problem can arise with specific requirements for a particular brand, model, and set of parameters of skis. There, it can sometimes take a while for delivery,” Kateřina Neumannová, president of the Association of Mountain Resorts, said about the supply of cross-country skis.
Lusti, a Czech manufacturer of downhill skis from Žacléř in the Podkrkonoší region, had to increase the price by 20 percent. “We have reflected in the prices only what they have increased for us,” Milan Luštinec, the founder and owner of the company, said. Apart from energy, the price of materials increased, and the delivery time was already significantly extended during the COVID, which is still ongoing.
“What the suppliers used to send immediately, we have to wait several months for. We waited almost a year for the special metal alloy, titanium. We have learned to make much larger stocks of material,” he described.
In addition to the factors mentioned above, i.e. the current lack of snow and COVID purchases, it is noticeable that Czechs in general are starting to save on sports equipment and other leftover goods, which has been confirmed by retail sales statistics for several months now.