Interview with Andy Schimeck, Chairman of the professional group “Outdoor” (FGO)

Andy Schimeck
Andy Schimeck

Shortly before the EOS will meet at Lake Tegernsee, we took the opportunity to speak with Andy Schimeck (Chairman of the professional group “Outdoor” FGO) about the expectations and challenges regarding the summit as well as the future of the outdoor market.

The European Outdoor Summit begins in around two weeks. What expectations do you have for the international get-together?

I’m expecting a great industry gathering and a lively exchange among participants on the exciting themes our excellent speakers are covering. I also hope that the presentations can inspire us all to further develop the outdoor industry we all care about so much. The strategic impulses from Dr. Max McKeown in combination with the socio-political themes of democratic change should be of great interest to anyone working in the sport and outdoor industry, regardless of whether they are on the retail or the brand side.
Dr. Kai Hudetz’s look at the future of the retail landscape is in itself reason enough to participate. Never before has retail been in such a state of transformation as it is now. 
In short, I expect to see a lot of participants from retail so that we, as brands of the professional group and the EOG, can work together to plan the future of the industry successfully.

Since May, in addition to your role as Manager at Marmot, you have also been Chairman of the “Outdoor” professional group of the Bundesverband der Sportartikelindustrie e.V., the association of German sports equipment suppliers. What challenges do you see for the outdoor industry over the coming years – and what opportunities?

The challenges for the outdoor industry will be occupying and communicating the real values and experiences in an environment of increasing digitalisation and virtualisation of society. We need to work together not only to inspire the strong generation of “best agers” to continue wanting to be active in the mountains and the great outdoors, but also, most importantly, to convince subsequent generations that outdoor exercise with friends is not only healthy, but also offers lasting memories and huge satisfaction. It doesn’t matter which of the many outdoor sports it is that gives them a way in, whether it’s a trend-sport like indoor climbing, or walking, running or cycling, or even one of the many winter sports.

Here I also see an opportunity for us as a professional group to work with retailers and the big purchasing pools to form a strong lobby to implement these goals, which are important both for society and for health policy.

And what contribution to overcoming these challenges should the European Outdoor Summit make?

As mentioned earlier, the themes of demographic change and changes in the retail landscape are on the summit agenda. The speakers will inspire us and highlight ways in which we can tackle these future themes in a strategic way. I hope we see these changes as an opportunity to address fundamental issues, so that we can use the findings that emerge from the EOS alongside new or reinforced contacts, to make the right decisions for a successful future for the relevant companies.

If you had to describe the European Outdoor Summit in three key words, what would they be?

Inspiration – cooperation – future.

Thank you, Andy Schimeck.