Is sportswear positioned to pursue a long-term winning streak? – RetailWire
07 Oct 2021
The Bank of America (BofA) has identified five “megatrends” – some accelerated by the pandemic – representing favorable winds for the growth of athletic clothing and footwear in the years to come: health and wellness, women’s sport participation , hybrid work models, affordable luxury and durability.
Health and wellness – it’s a healthier new world: BofA cited a number of surveys over the past year indicating that people in many parts of the world are placing greater importance on their health due to the experience of the pandemic. Sports participation has also been stimulated. Government-led programs, including China’s recently announced five-year mass fitness program, are also expected to boost activity levels.
Female sports participation – she moves: Women’s participation in sports remains low. The 2021 report of the Erasmus Sport ICOACHKIDS project found that only 20% of girls in Europe played major sports compared to 80% of boys. Growth factors include continued efforts around gender equality, federal programs to promote women’s participation, and increased awareness of the health and self-image benefits of sport, especially for girls.
Hybrid working models – ditching shoes for sneakers: After the pandemic, WFH (work from home), which changed attitudes towards office clothing, is expected to be more common. According to a survey by Office Group in the UK, 68% of respondents said they dressed less formally when working from home in 2020, while 24% said they wore sportswear.
Sportswear as affordable luxury – the street meets fantasy: Luxury brands are embracing streetwear culture through collaborations with sportswear brands, raising buyers’ price expectations. BofA wrote: “Collaborative releases are often limited, which we believe builds brand warmth, especially among the younger generations. “
Sustainable product lines – from trash cans to sneakers: The number of sustainable references offered by sports brands increased on average by 58% between 2017 and 2020, according to a McKinsey study. BofA wrote: “We believe that sustainability is an emerging driver of brand differentiation and warmth, which resonates particularly with the younger generations who are most aware of the environmental impact.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think the growth of sportswear will overtake the overall categories of clothing and footwear in the years to come? Which drivers of the pre- and post-pandemic categories do you consider to be the most important?
“Do you expect the growth of sportswear to overtake the overall clothing and footwear categories in the years to come? “