The athleisure market heats up as shoppers want comfort

An Old Navy advances this holiday season, which now includes lungwear, pajamas and athletic apparel.

: Gap Inc.

If you walk into any old Navy store this holiday season, you will add a plethora of athletic gear along with other casual clothes front and center.

Designed to be what consumers know as leggings, pajama sets, and other casual options during the coronovirus epidemic, the retailer tweaked its store layout to accommodate the trend, placing those items right at the door. It ordered more escaping hoodies, streamy bottoms, and the like, to ensure that its inventions were plentifully ahead of the holiday crowd.

“We gave it more prominent, forward space,” Old Navy president and chief executive Nancy Green said in an interview. “Has moved much further into active state.”

“We believe the modern way of dressing is mixing things up, so you can add a power leggings for women with a denim jacket … whether you’re working at home or out.” “You will see this effectively in our marketing as well.”

Old Navy said it offered 55% more active clothing during the third quarter ending on October 31, clearly helping drive overall sales for the brand, with a 15% increase. Meanwhile, Athleta recorded record, quarterly same-store sales gains driven by growth in demand for its yoga bottles, pullover sweaters and sports bras.

Gap, which owns both the Old Navy and Athletes, is certainly not the only retailer to have a complete bent in athletic – and more formally defined as a category of clothing, both of which activities Can be worn for you as sweat and casual wear – and benefit.

Major players such as Lundulmon and Nike have recorded stronger sales growth than other apparel retailers during the epidemic. And investors have rewarded them for this. Lululemon’s shares are up 54% from the beginning of the year, taking its market value to $ 46.6 billion. Nike shares are up nearly 34%, with a $ 212.8 billion swell in market cap.

Everyone from the North Face to Levi’s Louis Vuitton are ready to get a part of the category, rolling out new products with streaby fabric that can be worn during a run or a trip to the grocery store. Kohl’s launched its own active apparel brand named FLX in early 2021, while Target launched a new workout label called All in Motion earlier this year. There is also a small army of direct-to-consumer athlebic brands such as Outdoor Voice and Carbon 38 for the dollar.

“Athlebic has changed consumer expectations about comfort and the fit of their apparel,” said Deborah Weinsig, Coresight Research Founder and CEO. “We hope the boundaries between athlebic and sportswear and casual wear continue to blur.”

Pedestrians were seen walking with Canadian athletic apparel retailer Lululemon in Shanghai.

Alex Tai SOPA Images | Lighterket | Getty Images

“More and more companies are entering the athlebiking category … attracted by [its] Strong growth opportunities, “Weinswig added.

According to an analysis by Euromonitor International and Coresight, sales in the US Athlebic market are expected to see a total of $ 105.1 billion this year. This represents a 9.2% year-on-year decrease from 2019 levels due to the epidemic and fewer people shopping in stores. Nevertheless, the two firms predict sales will rebound next year, forecasting an increase of 7.9%.

Industry analysts say the predicted trajectory leaves a lot of room for retailers to participate and compete in space. In fact, they say, brands must meet before it is too late.

Euromonitor and Coresight estimate that, through 2023, the athlebiking market in the US will grow by about 6.5% annually, taking part from traditional apparel.

‘It’s a lifestyle’

Leggings are one of Erie’s best-selling categories, according to Jennifer Foyle, teenage apparel retailer American Eagle in the company’s Arie division and Jennifer Foyle, global brand president. In July, it launched a sub-brand offline called Eri, which focuses solely on “soft, comfortable and casual” active clothing, according to its branding.

“It’s more than a trend, it’s a lifestyle,” Foyle said in an interview. “The growing demand for a product that our customers can sleep in, have fun with, work out and spend all day allowing us to introduce our concepts.”

Rivals Abercrombie & Fitch have likewise seen success with their Gilly Hicks brand, which competes with Erie and complements their bras and loungewears with younger women. Gilly Hicks sales were in double digits during the latest quarter. Online sales grew over 100% year-on-year. It was recently boosted by the launch of a new active collection, called Gili Go.

“Soft and comfortable is really in our DNA,” Abercrombie CEO Fran Horowitz told CNBC in an interview. “And there’s no question that the whole customer mindset has changed [toward this] this year.”

Athlebic wear and so-called casual items such as Sherpa hoodies and fleet-lined pants go hand in hand in the wardrobes of many consumers. Especially this Christmas.

‘Seeking rest in uncomfortable times’

Items including sweatshirts, sweatpants, active bottles, sleepwear and socks were forecast by the NPD Group for up to 31% of apparel spending in the United States this holiday season, up from 26% during the fourth quarter of 2019 is.

NPD apparel analyst Maria Rugolo said, “From casual longebers, to active glam, and pajama-inspired fashion, consumers will not only have to dress differently, but from this frame of mind their apparel holiday gifting options Will be more selective.

Retailers from LLBean to Kohl’s Urban Outfitters to J.Crew are highlighting the casual things in their marketing this Christmas. NPD said consumers are “looking for comfort in uncomfortable times.”

LLBean said sales of its iconic slippers were 115% for women and 98% for men throughout the year during September and October, calling those numbers “record-breaking”. Sales of its women’s sweatshirts and sweater fleets grew by 80% and 52%, respectively.

Even after the global health crisis ended, Massey is at least one retailer that is going to be eager to get its customers out of their PJs.

CEO Jeff Gannett told analysts last week about his clothes and high-heels post-expectations, “I think vaccination is clearly on everyone’s mind … and I think that’s when it happens So demand is going to increase. “

“People who are wearing the same clothes, they are moving around in active and casual sports … they want to wear clothes,” he said.

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