Posts Tagged 'Activewear'

The impact of “activewear as sportswear”

It seems more apparent than ever that some of the “women’s apparel” problem is actually a long-term lifestyle change. RetailWire panelists discussed this in the context of Gap’s Athleta activewear division:

I was in Madison, Wisconsin last week and walked down the pedestrian mall running from the state capitol to the University. It was impossible to ignore that the vast majority of women were wearing “activewear as streetwear” — in particular, black yoga pants instead of jeans. And these were college students for whom jeans would have been “the uniform” five years ago.

On the last wave of quarterly earnings calls, most retailers complained about the lack of traction in their women’s sportswear businesses — while mentioning the rapid growth of fitness wear. It’s increasingly clear that activewear is cannibalizing more traditional women’s apparel, so Gap ought to push the growth of its Athleta brand as hard as it can for as long as this lifestyle shift continues.

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Under Armour follows the sales volume

Under Armour announced in August that it is opening Kohl’s in 2017. This news started a discussion on RetailWire about whether this was good for the brand, or just a reflexive reaction to the closing of Sports Authority. Here’s my take:

If Under Armour wants to gain share at Nike’s expense, why not sell where Nike already has an established beachhead? Without having any insider information (I worked for Kohl’s from 1982 to 2006), I’m speculating that they have a very large and healthy active/fitness apparel and shoe business across all ages and genders. Seems like a no-brainer to me.


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