Port
Washington, NY, May 28, 2020
– U.S. consumers are showing that social distancing measures and air travel restrictions are unlikely to spoil their summer vacation. According to The NPD
Group
, key camping, RV, and road trip essentials are seeing double- and triple-digit growth, as national parks and other parts of the country begin to reopen.

Lower fuel prices at the pump may also be providing a greater incentive for consumers to hit the road; the average price per gallon has declined 30 cents year-to-date through April, according to NPD’s Motor
Fuels Index
.

Findings from the 2020 North
American Camping Report
fielded by Kampgrounds of America in late April show that travel limitations and overall caution due to the COVID-19 crisis is drawing more campers and first-time campers to the activity. NPD retail sales data ties into this trend, as camping equipment sales reached a turning point in April and ramped up in the last two weeks of the month. In the two weeks ending May 2, sales grew for camping basics including recreation tents (+30%), hammocks (+103%), camp sets (+119%), and campfire equipment (+42%), as well as grills (+74%), smokers (+94%), and fuel (+23%). Also seeing growth were accessories such as portable power kits (+87%), bike trailers/joggers (+133%), and hanging hitch racks (+51%).

“Cabin fever has set in big time, as the lockdown and work-from-home lifestyle continues to be followed by much of the nation. Families are looking for a safe escape to save their summer vacation. As a result, there’s an uptick in consumers gearing up for outdoor activities and road trips, whether local or more long distance,” said Matt
Powell
, NPD’s sports industry advisor. “NPD data from other industries shows sales increases for U.S. travel books, road maps and atlases, and outdoor toys. There’s a sweeping trend at play here; from the backyard to the campground, consumers are seeking refuge in the outdoors.”

Tools to equip the RV also saw increases in the latter half of April, including utensils (+36%), pots and pans (+22%), and camp toiletries (+24%). For the full month of April, sales grew for car/RV necessities including hitches (+33%), portable air compressors (+27%), portable/roadside air tanks (+46%), and RV antifreeze/coolant (+25%). RV travel is poised to be a particularly viable vacation option this year as the 2020 THOR
North American RV Consumer Survey Report
found that 79% of consumers plan to use their RV the same amount (40%) or more (39%) this year. According to the survey, the opening of campgrounds is the most important factor in determining whether an RV trip will be taken this year, followed by a reduction in the COVID-19 spread. 

“Historically low gas prices combined with concerns of getting on an airplane and travel plan changes are fueling a big uptick for items that consumers purchase to prep their cars and recreational vehicles for road trips,” said Nathan
Shipley
, NPD’s automotive analyst. “Both existing consumers and new entrants are making investments that I suspect will drive longer-term engagement and gain more mileage for the aftermarket beyond this summer travel season.”

 

Source: The NPD Group/ U.S. Retail
Tracking Service/ Based on dollar sales/ Two weeks ending May 2, 2020 vs. same
weeks in 2019; April 2020 vs. 2019



Press Contact

Janine Marshall

516-625-2356 
janine.marshall@npd.com 

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