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Demand for winter gear already spiking during pandemic

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Consumers appear to already be gearing up to get outside this winter, as the coronavirus pandemic has shut gyms and severely limited indoor activities. 

Sales of bikes and boats have been strong in the spring and summer months, but now shoppers are looking to stock up on flannel, fleece and boots to keep warm when temperatures drop, L.L. Bean Chief Executive Stephen Smith told CNBC’S “Squawk on the Street” Tuesday morning. 

“We have already seen a pop in sales on snow shoes, sleds, some of our outdoor hard goods for the winter season,” Smith said. “I think people are connected to the outdoors in ways they have never been.” 

L.L. Bean, headquartered in Freeport, Maine, isn’t the only retailer reaping the benefits of more people trying to get outdoors and break a sweat, either. Dick’s Sporting Goods‘ online sales surged 194% during the latest quarter, as more people stocked up on sneakers, athletic apparel, kayaks and camping accessories. 

Bike sales are soaring at retailers across the board, up 75% in March and April, according to data from NPD Group

“What we have seen is a total reconnection to nature, just being outside,” L.L. Bean’s Smith said. “There are incredible restorative benefits to being outside. … We absolutely see that continuing through the fall and winter.” 



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