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Activewear - US - October 2018

"The activewear market continues to help lift the broader apparel market which has softened in the past few years as consumers have prioritized spending on experiences rather than tangible goods. More consumers are exercising and prioritizing their health and this should continue to fuel the market for performance items. Comparable to this trend, there’s also a very noticeable pattern of lifestyle marketing within the industry as brands and retailers look to evolve activewear to the next phase, which ironically doesn’t always involve exercise occasions but rather everyday activities."

– Diana Smith, Associate Director - Retail & Apparel

This report examines the following issues:

  • Apparel industry experiencing softness 
  • Activewear, and particularly athleisure, becoming ambiguous terms
  • Intense competition squeezes specialty stores

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The issue
            • Apparel industry experiencing softness
              • The opportunity
                • Define new ways to talk about comfort
                  • The issue
                    • Activewear, and particularly athleisure, becoming ambiguous terms
                      • The opportunity
                        • Define what quality means
                          • The issue
                            • Intense competition squeezes specialty stores
                              • The opportunity
                                • Carve out a niche
                                  • What it means
                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                    • Activewear helps to lift a soft apparel industry
                                      • Athleisurewear moves from hype to norm
                                        • Population growth expected among key buyers
                                          • Obesity rates still troubling
                                            • Americans aim to get healthier
                                            • Market Perspective

                                              • Activewear is a bright spot in the apparel industry
                                                • Athleisure moves past its peak
                                                  • Figure 1: Preferences regarding how activewear is worn, by generation, July 2018
                                                  • Figure 2: Share of wardrobe, by gender and age, July 2018
                                              • Market Factors

                                                • Fast growth among seniors presents a market opportunity
                                                  • Figure 3: Population by age, 2013-23
                                                • Positive macroeconomic factors create a climate for growth
                                                  • Americans place higher priority on exercising and staying healthy
                                                    • Figure 4: Perceptions of health, July 2018
                                                  • Obesity rates continue to climb despite intentions to improve health
                                                    • Figure 5: Prevalence of obesity among adults aged 20 and over, by age and gender, 2017*
                                                • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Widespread fragmentation in the industry forces brands to be different
                                                    • Retailers focus on the in-store experience
                                                      • Morphing into clothing “made for movement”
                                                        • Body positivity movement leads to more size inclusivity
                                                        • What’s Trending?

                                                          • Industry evolution: new campaigns, store formats, technical fabrics, and private label brands
                                                            • Nike goes bold
                                                              • Figure 6: Nike “Dream crazy” TV ad, September 2018
                                                            • Nike also goes digital
                                                                • Figure 7: Nike App @ Retail demonstration, July 2018
                                                              • Fabletics plans for expansion
                                                                • Lululemon’s biggest fans continue to pay top dollar
                                                                  • Figure 8: Lululemon Run Stop Shops, September 2018
                                                                • Under Armour launches recovery clothing
                                                                  • Figure 9: Under Armour, “Will Makes Us Family” TV ad, September 2018
                                                                • Outdoor Voices gets technical
                                                                  • Athleta challenges women to be up for anything
                                                                    • Figure 10: Athleta “Up for Anything” video, January 2018
                                                                    • Figure 11: Athleta performance underwear introduction video, January 2018
                                                                  • Private label brands join in the fray
                                                                    • No end in sight for celebrity and athlete endorsements
                                                                      • Figure 12: Preferences regarding celebrity or athlete endorsers, by gender and age, July 2018
                                                                    • What’s in style now?
                                                                    • What’s Struggling?

                                                                      • Under Armour works to manage excess inventory down
                                                                        • C9 will no longer be sold in Target as of 2020
                                                                        • What’s Next?

                                                                          • Streetwear will influence activewear’s evolution
                                                                            • Lululemon brings personalized comfort to the forefront
                                                                              • Positive movement around inclusive sizing
                                                                                • Figure 13: Dia&Co “Fit to Thrive” TV ad, May 2018
                                                                              • Interest in sustainable fashion on the rise
                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                • Exercise not required
                                                                                  • Specialty stores getting squeezed in the middle
                                                                                    • Comfort reigns supreme
                                                                                      • Do consumers care about labels?
                                                                                      • The Activewear Consumer

                                                                                        • Three types of consumers
                                                                                            • Figure 14: Reasons for wearing activewear, July 2018
                                                                                            • Figure 15: Reasons for wearing activewear, by gender and age, July 2018
                                                                                          • Fitness priority linked to usage occasion
                                                                                              • Figure 16: Fitness priority, by reasons for wearing activewear, July 2018
                                                                                              • Figure 17: Level of activewear consideration, by fitness priority, July 2018
                                                                                            • In their words
                                                                                              • Active can simply mean movement during the day
                                                                                              • Items Purchased

                                                                                                • Athleisure pervades nearly all clothing categories
                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Items purchased, by gender, July 2018
                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Repertoire of items purchased, July 2018
                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Fitness priority, by repertoire of items purchased, August 2018
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Reasons for wearing activewear, by repertoire of items purchased, August 2018
                                                                                                  • Exercise not required
                                                                                                  • Important Attributes

                                                                                                    • It’s all about being comfortable
                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Important attributes, July 2018
                                                                                                      • Multi-purpose is an important claim
                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Important attributes, by reasons for wearing activewear, July 2018
                                                                                                      • The role of style
                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Importance of stylish/fashionable, by gender and age, July 2018
                                                                                                        • In their words: style preferences
                                                                                                          • The role of brand
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Role of brand in selection process, by gender and age, July 2018
                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Preferences regarding number of items and quality of brands, by reasons for wearing activewear, July 2018
                                                                                                          • In their words: the importance of the brand name
                                                                                                          • Brand Perceptions

                                                                                                            • Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour are most positively perceived brands
                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Brand perceptions, July 2018
                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Correspondence analysis – Principal map – Brand perceptions, August 2018
                                                                                                              • Men less likely than women to see Columbia as a high-performance brand
                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Perceptions of high performance, by gender and age, July 2018
                                                                                                              • Lululemon, Fabletics, and Athleta rated well on style among young women
                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Perceptions of stylish, by gender and age, July 2018
                                                                                                              • It comes back to quality
                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Preferences regarding number of items and quality of brands, by gender and age, July 2018
                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Perceptions of quality – Index versus all, by gender and age, July 2018
                                                                                                              • In their words
                                                                                                              • Retail Channels Shopped

                                                                                                                • General merchandise stores strongly preferred over specialty retailers
                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Retailers shopped, July 2018
                                                                                                                  • Higher fitness priority equates to higher purchase incidence at specialty stores
                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Retailers shopped, by reasons for wearing activewear, July 2018
                                                                                                                  • In their words: why they shop where they do
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                                                                      • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                        • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                                          • Repertoire analysis methodology
                                                                                                                            • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                  • Terms
                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2000-August 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Prevalence of obesity among US adults aged 20 and over, 1997-2017*
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Prevalence of obesity among adults aged 20 and over, by gender and race and Hispanic origin, 2017*
                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Where consumers exercise, April 2017-June 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Sports played or participated in – Past 12 months, April 2017-June 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – Brand perceptions, August 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Lululemon Fast and Free collection email, September 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Women’s apparel purchases, April 2013-June 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Men’s apparel purchases, April 2013-June 2018

                                                                                                                                  Activewear - US - October 2018

                                                                                                                                  US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)