Something is happening on the rollerblading planet. Containment and deconfinement have agitated and still agitate the sector. To the point that sales counters explode in France and around the world. It is as if the planet, entirely confined or almost for several weeks, saw rollerblading as a means of freeing itself from the shackles of "staying at home".
Since May 11, Décathlon has sold no less than 300,000 pairs worldwide, including 50,000 in France. For information, the French Federation of Roller Skating and Skateboarding (FFRS) has 65,000 licensees. "The first four days after the deconfinement, we recorded in France the equivalent of a month of sale," explains Pierre Guével, world manager of the Oxelo brand of Decathlon.
The extent of the phenomenon did not really surprise the brand installed in the north of France since it had already been observed in the Netherlands where the confinement was less restrictive allowing residents to equip themselves in stores. Among other manufacturers, the Rollerblade brand draws the same observation internationally with a sales boom of 600% in many countries (United States, Canada, Netherlands) even letting fear of a stock shortage in places.
"A desire for sliding, movement and freedom"
Why such a rush on pairs of roller skates and other quads (note: four-wheeled skating) ? Without precise study, the professionals are reduced for the moment to put forward hypotheses.
Let's focus on the image first. On the other side of the Atlantic, influencers have greatly contributed to the popularity of the discipline on social networks.
A choreography by American actress Ana Coto
"It is a freedom and family sport," then notes Pierre Guével, who nevertheless points out that many adults have bought pairs for them and not only for children. "All these buyers have a desire for sliding, movement and freedom," adds Boris Darlet, the new president of the RSMC. Some may also want to avoid public transport. "
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The FFRS naturally sees reasons for hope in the sales figures. "All sports federations are coming out of a complicated period at the same time because of the Covid-19 epidemic which has brought everyone to a halt in leisure as well as in competition and problems outside of sport", recognizes Boris Darlet .
The federal official alludes to the problems of sexual violence which have not spared his sport. But he considers that the explosion of roller skating sales on the shelves now implies on the part of his federation the implementation of specific actions. “We cannot control this sales explosion. It is up to us to adapt to eventually welcome in our clubs these first-time practitioners who will need to be supervised. We want to say to all our clubs, It's your time. "