Athletic Lifestyles Keep Apparel Sales Healthy

Athletic Wear

As the health and fitness trend goes global, prospects for growth of the sportswear sector are getting stronger. Those firms operating in it are going to see a huge boost in sales. According to a report from Morgan Stanley Research in 2016, it was stated “Global Athletic Wear: Very Bullish Five-Year Outlook”.

Recently, sports apparel and sports shoes sales have jumped 42% to $270 billion over the past seven years. It’s the kind of winning streak that raises eyebrows—and investor skepticism. The one question of high concern – What do yoga moms, high school athletes, and Chinese school kids have in common? They’re all helping to power global sales of athletic wear!

The graph below shows how Asia is the biggest contributor to Athletic wear and what sales growth is since 2015.

The sports we play (or watch) can shape what we wear—and buy. A focus on fitness and healthy living have translated into more active lifestyles, especially among the youth. For example, in North America, participation in sports games among high-schoolers has overall, jumped from 25% to more than 35% over the past 35 years, led by a near doubling among girls, from 17% to 32% over that period. Moreover, studies by US professional sports leagues show that consumers’ interest in sports is highly influenced by whether they played when younger.

As these consumers mature and move into prime apparel and footwear/sports shoes buying years, we imagine they will stay active.

Surprisingly, as per our findings – among the top factors driving athletic wear and sports shoe sales are ‘cultural factors’. US investors may not grasp how big China and emerging market opportunities are, and Asian investors may be similarly surprised at US strength. Through research, it was found that the industry could add $83 billion in sales by 2020, or more than 30% growth.

China, in particular, will be a key market to watch. The government has already emphasized the need to support youth athletic participation, develop sports infrastructure and business overall, with plans to build 60% more sports facilities by 2025 and get 500 million of its citizens to exercise and play sports regularly.


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