More than half the UK's population bought activewear in 2015
New figures from Verdict Retail reveal that over the last 12 months, 53.7%, more than half, of the British population bought activewear as health and fitness culture is changing the perception of the category.
The penetration was highest among 25-44-year olds. And activewear is becoming essential to consumers' wardrobes, with 52.3% saying they wear it more than once a week.
Rebecca Marks, Retail Consultant at Verdict Retail, remarks: "Changing consumer lifestyles have caused a shift towards consumers seeking multifunctional activewear garments. It is becoming more and more acceptable to wear activewear for both physical activities and social events, particularly since retailers have invested in making ranges far more fashionable and trend-led."
Plenty of consumers (43.3%) prefer to wear activewear over other clothing in their wardrobe, leading to a rise in mergers between fashion pieces and activewear - like Nike's collaboration with Sacai. However, most people still buy their activewear pieces at the big sports specialists, with 9.7% shopping at JD Sports and 9.6% at Sports Direct. Third in place comes Primark, at 7.4%.
"While consumers tend to prioritise performance features, benefiting the sports specialists and sports brands, style and fashion have become more important factors in the purchasing decision, particularly so for women. Clothing specialists have responded to this by ensuring greater fashion adoption, providing more frequent newness and showcasing stylish outfit building, fueling activewear spend and putting more pressure on sports specialists." Marks adds.
The change in shopping has also led to activewear gaining more space in stores. Verdict says New Years resolutions have caused an expediential push on activewear ranges gaining prime selling spaces in store. It is also promoted in window displays and through e-commerce.
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