Sports goods sales to reach £7 billion in the UK in 2016
British fashionistas are behind the surge of sportwear sales in the UK, estimated to reach £7 billion this year.
According to new research from Mintel, half of the people who have bought sports clothing, footwear and accessories in the past 12 months did not have a sports activity in mind. And while 34% of Brits have bought fashionable sportswear that can be worn when not exercising, 11% have purchased celebrity sportswear collections.
Among the factors driving growth in the athleisure market are the increased levels of consumer interest in health and wellness trends and the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics games, which have seen fashion brands such as Stella McCartney and Asos design official kits and ceremony wear for Team GB athletes.
"A number of high-profile designers have kitted out the Olympic teams again this year and, with all eyes on the athletes, merchandise and associated sports products are particularly well-placed to succeed. Beyond official merchandise, general activewear sales are likely to lift as consumers get caught-up in the Olympic hype,” says Samantha Dover, Retail Analyst at Mintel.
Overall, 54% of Brits have bought sports clothing, footwear, equipment or accessories in the past 12 months. Although clothing remains the dominant category, sales of sports shoes are gaining speed. Of specialist sporting goods sales, Mintel forecasts that footwear sales will make up 34% in 2016, up from 29% in 2014. Clothing will stand at 54% of total sporting goods sales, according to the report.
"Whilst clothing continues to be the dominant category, footwear is an increasingly crucial part of any sports retailer's assortment. The substantial growth we're seeing in the footwear segment is likely driven by the increased acceptance of sports clothing in society. In particular, athletic footwear has become a big, mainstream fashion trend," added Samantha.
Meanwhile, sales of beauty products for an active lifestyle are likely to increase. According to Mintel, there are a number of consumers who are looking to invest in products that will help them improve their appearance during or after exercise, such as redness reducing creams.
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