Sunday, May 10, 2015

Activewear and "athleisure"

Athleisure is style of clothing that looks like athletic wear and can be worn during non-athletic, leisurely activities.
  • "Athleisure" has taken hold of the retail sector with new brands selling leggings and athletic apparel as mainstream everyday wear
  • The athleisure market is growing, displacing typical workwear styles, and cutting in to sales of jeans, with a market size in 2014 as $35 billion, representing an 8% increase from the previous year.
  • Sales of athleisure clothing are at an all-time high, and making up 17% of the entire American clothing market, according to market research firm NPD Group.
Other trends and changes in the consumer:
  • Focus on personal electronics with health & fitness apps
  • Shrinking middle class.  The demand for lower-priced sport-styled footwear has upended the running shoe industry, as more affordable brands crowd into the athletic category and demand for higher-priced premium sneakers slows.
The athleisure trend may have emerged when yoga pants such as this one were worn for leisure activities.

These companies are doing well:

  • Nike (NYSE:NKE) is the undisputed champion in the athletic footwear arena. Dominates the U.S. fitness footwear market, holding 62% market share.
  • Skechers (SKX) is succeeding today in categories where Nike falls short -- specifically, walking and casual footwear. The company has gained ground with products such as its Skechers Memory Foam sneakers, Stretch Fit, and Relaxed Fit footwear.  Also has an apparel segment.
  • Under Armour (UA)
  • L Brands Inc (LB)  -- include's Victoria's Secret Pink brand
  • Lululemon Athletica (LULU)
  • Crocs (CROX)
  • Fitbit (FIT)


  • 1-yr char 7/15 (click for live chart)

    These companies are NOT doing well, i.e. they are losing market share:
    • "Affordable luxury" brands such as Michael Kors (KORS), Kate Spade (KATE), Coach (COH), Vince (VNCE), Fossil (FOSL), Ralph Lauren (RL)
    1-yr char 7/15 (click for live chart)

    Sportswear and footwear retailers
    • Columbia Sportswear (COLM)
    • Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS)
    • Finish Line (FINL)
    • Foot Locker (FL)
    • DSW (DSW)
    • Sports Authority (private, owned by a PE firm)
    Private companies:

    The boom in activewear is creating space for a slew of new startups to enter the market, competing with the big established brands like Lululemon.





  • Outdoor Voices is an e-commerce activewear company for both men and women that launched two years ago, catering specifically to millennials.
  • Bandier -- a retailer curating high-end, fashion-forward women’s activewear created by a range of designers. At the end of May, the online store ADAY launched with a line of slick outfits, made with high-tech fabrics designed for women to go from a yoga class directly to cocktail hour.  All players are looking up at Lululemon, and most, including Target, Athleta, and Lucy, are trying to defeat the leader with lower prices. Bandier is the opposite.
  • K-Deer, a New Jersey-based company that specializes in yoga apparel.


  • Bandier, the new fitness boutique setting up shop in high-end malls

    Bandier teamed up with street artists Upendo Taylor, Malarko Hernandez, and Christopher Lee Sauvé to create new materials for its athleisure line.


    Bandier 


    BTW, Tim Gunn hates it when you wear yoga pants or leggings on the street. "It's vulgar," he says. "Unless you're Robin Hood."


    ©Artremis / Eva Sawicka (7/15)

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