Athleisure Sales Gain Traction in the U.K.

Total sales for the U.K. clothing market are also expected to rise 2.1 percent.

EUROPE–The current trends in athleisure are expected to bring the U.K. sports clothing market up to £2.5 billion in 2017, an 8 percent increase compared to 2016, according to U.K. research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The firm also reports that the total U.K. clothing market will rise by 2.1 percent this year, demonstrating how sportswear is outperforming other clothing segments.

Furthermore, gym fitness, swimming and running are the preferred activities among female consumers and each activity has seen an increase in participation over the year prior, according to GlobalData’s survey of 10,000 U.K. consumers. The firm also reports that the wellness trend has contributed to this shift, with health and fitness bloggers like Ella Woodward, Joe Wicks and Shaun T gaining substantial followings and raising awareness of healthy living and the benefits of regular exercise, which all supports the athleisure market.

“Sales growth in athleisure is set to peak in 2017 but it will remain a very popular category over the next five years, outperforming total clothing,” says Fiona Paton, retail analyst, GlobalData. “The health and wellbeing trend, influence on high profile fitness bloggers and continued investment from the government in initiatives such as improving cycle routes will increase consumer participation in sport and exercise–providing retailers with a larger, more varied activewear customer base.”

Additionally, following the successful launch of third party sports brands this year, ASOS is planning to launch its own label sportswear range this November, which GlobalData believes will further increase activewear spend per head as well as ASOS’ foothold in the market.

“As fashion retailers such as New Look, Primark and ASOS invest in affordable, trend-led own brand sportswear ranges, female shoppers have access to more choice, will spend more on impulse and will purchase athleisure pieces in replacement of core casualwear items,” says Paton. “GlobalData believes non-sports specialists can lean on their fashion credentials and skills in interpreting seasonal trends quickly to ensure regular newness and that collections remain relevant, thereby forcing sports players such as Sports Direct to up their fashion game.”

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