Growth among private-label and smaller brands is shaking up the activewear landscape
Port Washington, N.Y., December 2, 2021 – Overlapping with the return of in-person learning and sports activities this year, the kids’ activewear market has outperformed the adult market in the U.S. Revenue from kids’ activewear increased by 34%, from January through October versus last year, according to The NPD Group.
“The reopening of schools and restarting of sports activities gave an added boost to the kids’ activewear business this year – making products for kids the stars of activewear for the third quarter,” said Matt Powell, sports industry advisor at NPD. “The return of more social activities will only add to the strength of the market during the holiday season this year and into 2022.”
Retailers’ private-label brands collectively led sales in the kids’ activewear market, from January through October, based on NPD Retail Tracking data. Private brands accounted for just under 30% of boys’ activewear sales but dominated nearly 60% of the girls’ activewear business. Private-label brands aside, Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour were the top kids’ activewear brands based on revenues; however, all of them either lost market share or remained flat versus last year. On the other hand, market share increased for Champion, Jordan, Reebok, and other smaller brands.
Girls’ activewear revenue, through October 2021, was about 45% smaller than boys’ activewear, though sales grew faster for girls’ products. Within the largest activewear categories, shorts and sweatshirts were the highest growth product categories for girls, while tee-shirts and sweatshirts led sales in the boys’ segment.
“The fact that the private-label category captures over half of the girls’ activewear business, similar to the women’s activewear market, illustrates that the major athletic brands continue to fail the female consumer,” Powell said. “There is a massive opportunity for brands to create compelling products for females of all ages.”