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Appetite for sporting goods and 'athleisure' wear yet to be sated

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - It seems as if consumer demand for sportswear and sporting goods has yet to wane, as 2015 was marked as the year of the 'athleisure' wear in the UK thanks to an exponential growth within the product category.

According to International real estate advisor, Savills, the sales of sporting goods grew faster than any other product category in retail in 2015 across 40 plus of the shopping centres managed by the company. The sporting wear category revealed an impressive increase of 9.5 percent during 2015 - higher than similar performing categories such as menswear and jewellery , which grew 3.9 percent and 3.4 percent respectively.

Sporting goods most popular product category in 2105

"Sporting goods retailers enjoyed a stellar year thanks to the rising trend for 'athleisure', various celebrity endorsements and a number of significant football kit launches," commented Stephen Toal, head of property management research at Savills. "Looking ahead, [these] retailers will need to keep a close eye on costs when the National Living Wage is introduced in April this year, but those investing in omni-channel and putting the transactional experience first will continue to reap the benefits of increased consumer confidence."

Driving this trend in part is a larger, cultural shift, spanning across the globe that has seen more and more consumers prioritising their health and well-being. Paired with an increasing interest in both functional and comfortable clothing, which not only look good, but are also highly adaptable and suitable to the ever-demanding modern lives of consumers, has attributed to the rise of athleisure - apparel which can be worn to the gym, or around town or even to work.

UK consumers continue to seek out activewear

"Cultural society continues to be in awe of the human body and beauty," pointed out Dutch trendforecaster Lidewij Edelkoort during a dedicated trend seminar in 2014, as she predicted the mass movement to live a healthier, more active lifestyle to continue to evolve leading to a demand for innovative, leaner and sleeker activewear.

The demand for sportswear in the UK has also been reflect in retail sales, as research firm Key Note predicted sales for the category to surpass 6 billion pounds by the end of 2015 and total 8.65 billion pounds by 2019. With numerous fast-fashion retailers, Missguided and Boohoo.com launching sportwear lines in 2015 as well as higher-end brands like Ralph Lauren and Karl Lagerfeld dipping their toes into the fitness collections, it seems as if this trend will only get bigger - as long as customers are kept interested by new innovations and products.

Photo 1: Boohoo.com, Facebook
Photo 2: Karl Lagerfeld , Facebook
Photo 3: Missguided, Facebook
athleisure wear
Karl Lagerfeld
Lidewij Edelkoort
Ralph Lauren