NPD Reports Strong Sales In Activewear and Athletic Footwear From January-August 2013

Value and multiple uses are key drivers of this growth

Port Washington, NY, September 26, 2013The NPD Group, Inc., a global information company, reports US Sports market sales increased 4 percent from January to August 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. According to NPD’s Consumer Tracking Service, total US sales for athletic footwear and activewear reached $36 billion YTD August 2013.

Activewear Highlights

Activewear sales increased more than the general apparel market, growing 7 percent vs. 1 percent YTD August 2013 compared to the same period last year. Units were up 7 percent, and the average selling price was flat.

“Part of the reason activewear products are growing faster than the overall business is attributed to the consumer’s passion to get more fit,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “But the major influence on the rise in sales, especially in women’s, is the desire to look active.”

The women’s category contributed $7 billion in sales to the activewear market, up 5 percent YTD August 2013. Key growth drivers included active pants (up 10 percent), tees/athletic tops (up 12 percent), and sweatshirts (up 11 percent).

“As dressing casually becomes more acceptable, women feel they are getting value when investing in activewear, like yoga pants, which they can wear to the gym, in the gym, and from the gym,” Cohen added.

Athletic Footwear Highlights

Athletic footwear sales increased 1 percent from January to August 2013 compared to the same time period one year prior. Units and average selling price were relatively flat. The men’s category maintained its leadership position with the largest share of the market (51 percent). While unit sales outpaced the athletic footwear market (up 2 percent), the average selling price was down 4 percent.

Men’s running footwear had been the big growth category, owning one of the largest shares of the market (24 percent). But YTD August 2013, more fashion categories drove the increase compared to the same time period one year ago. Casual athletics was up 6 percent with 26 percent share, and basketball footwear was up 12 percent with 11 percent share.

“Contrary to the women’s trend in activewear, young men have found the desire to dress up by wearing a suit with athletic shoes. This look is also becoming popular among the middle-aged male market seeking that active look,” stated Cohen. “So in athletic footwear, consumers are keeping with the multiple uses trend and buying footwear to match their activewear as well as their dinner outfit.”

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