Deep Dive 26 minutes Premium

Gym Clothes Are Making Their Way Out of the Gym: A Primer on Athleisure

Executive Summary

  • Athleisure is the trend of wearing activewear, clothing designed for athletic workouts, both inside and outside the gym. In the US, athleisurewear sales totaled $97 billion in 2015, up 40% from 2010 and up 7% from 2014. Last year, the segment outperformed traditional apparel, which saw more modest sales growth.
  • Millennials tend to take a more holistic approach to health and wellness than older groups do. They exercise more, eat better and smoke less than previous generations. Fitness has become a more integral part of day-to-day life for millennials.
  • Athleisure brands have been successful in building an emotional connection between their product and the customer, making it more likely customers will make multiple purchases. Customers want not only the specific items they are purchasing, but also the active lifestyle that comes with them.
  • The athleisure universe is growing, which means it is harder for brands to stand out. The brands that have performed best and have proven they can withstand the emerging competition are the ones that do not sell just clothes, but a lifestyle.
  • Athleisure is affecting big brands and traditional apparel retailers in a significant way that looks to be permanent. That said, we do not see the current pace of category growth as sustainable, and we expect more moderate growth going forward.

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