Archery equipment sector struggling against counterfeiters

Hunger Games KatnissSales of archery equipment are predicted to grow at a healthy rate over the next five years, despite an ongoing problem with counterfeits.

Overall, US sales of bows, arrows and accessories are expected to grow from around $1.14bn in 2014 to $1.79bn in 2019, an annual growth rate of more than 9.5 per cent, thanks to an increase in the number of women taking up the sport and increased sale of products via online channels.

The media and entertainment industry - notably the release of films like Brave, the Hunger Games and the Avengers - has played a crucial role in enhancing the popularity of this sport.

The report - from market research company Technavio - notes however that counterfeiting - along with changes in consumer preferences and the increased popularity of other sports and games - are presenting challenges to equipment producers.

"Counterfeit products and constant changes in consumer behaviour pose a serious threat to market growth," says the report.

A spokesperson for Technavio told that the product category most affected by counterfeiting is the 'arrow shafts' segment, mainly because the production technicalities and resources required to manufacture the fakes are lesser than bows.

As a result, they require lesser funds and resources for counterfeiters to manufacture and distribute their knock-off products.

"Many counterfeiters are using online retail channels along with brick and mortar stores to push these products in the market," she said.

"There is no specific quantitative estimate shared by archery equipment manufacturers pertaining to revenue loss from counterfeit products. However, most manufacturers mention product counterfeit as a persistent challenge which they are trying to overcome."

What is clear is that despite various awareness measures by manufacturers, customers are unknowingly purchasing counterfeit products. As a result, manufacturers are hiring specific services to monitor counterfeit activities both online and offline.

"The primary driver for counterfeit products within this market is lack of awareness by consumers," she said, although the task for all parties concerned is made much harder by the fact that counterfeit product manufacturers capture every detail of the genuine products - from typography to coloured packages that match original equipment.

"Counterfeit product manufacturing is rampant in few South East Asian countries, with various estimates suggest that over 60 per cent counterfeit products originate in China, closely followed by countries like India, Taiwan and Korea," said the spokesperson.

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