Czech retailers grappling with shortage of cross-country skis

According to Tomáš Dvořák from LBS Sport in Prague, there are several reasons for the current shortage of cross-country skis:

“There is a great demand for cross-country skis, but at the same time there is a shortage of the materials from which they are made, both wood and composites. When it comes to footwear, there is currently a shortage of people who manufacture them, mainly in Asia.

Mr. Dvořák also highlights the increasing cost of logistics, driven by rising prices for shipping containers. On top of that, distributors are overwhelmed with demand, which they can’t meet.”

Harfasport, a wholesaler across the Vltava river in Prague, faces the same problems:

“The assortment is sold out across the country. The suppliers are collapsing. They keep pushing the orders we have to the summer months, so that’s really a problem,” the company’s general manager, Jaromír Fitz, told Czech radio.

Another major sports brand, the Sportisimo network, is also facing a shortage of cross-country skis. According to its sales manager, Tomáš Borek, many items ordered for the winter season will not arrive until the next one.”

According to Fitz, companies with productions in Europe are better off than those with productions in Asia. One of them is Czech ski manufacturer Kästle CZ, maker of Sporten and Artis skis:

“At the moment we are almost exhausted. We will certainly not fully meet the demand for the 2021/2022 season”, company director Vladimír Dušánek told Czech radio.

Instead of buying new equipment, many customers are forced to have their old skis repaired. According to sporting goods retailers, the situation is not expected to improve in the near future, with the shortage of cross-country skis expected to last at least until the next winter season.

Berta D. Wells