Sportswear experienced declining current value sales in 2020, due to the home seclusion trend during lockdown which restricted the ability to play sports due to social distancing measures, or visit both indoor and outdoor gyms, playgrounds and skateparks during the initial stages of the pandemic in Australia. Prior to the pandemic, the category had been posting strong growth rates in line with the health and wellness trend in the country, with physical fitness generally popular, such as through team events, running, or in terms of gym culture.
The athleisure trend was gaining momentum in Australia out of major changes in society prior to the emergence of the pandemic, driven by Generation Z and millennials, with more casual attire accepted in offices and other workplaces and the growing participation in sports and fitness-driven lifestyles by males and females driving stronger demand for sports-inspired apparel and footwear that transcends sport and follows both fashion and casualisation trends. Therefore, activewear has entered the mainstream as a form of lifestyle clothing.
Nike retained its overall leadership of a fairly fragmented competitive landscape which saw smaller players under “others” hold the highest overall value share in 2020. Nike benefits from its strength in sports footwear in addition to regaining its second position within sports apparel to rank behind the dynamic lululemon athletica Australia Pty Ltd, which gained leadership of this category in 2020 from Kathmandu Holdings Ltd.
Sportswear is predicted to record a marked improvement in terms of value growth (at constant 2020 prices) in 2021 before returning to greater rates of normalisation in terms of purchasing behaviour over the forecast period. An early surge is likely to be linked to greater freedom outside of the home as restrictions are relaxed and a greater return to sporting activities, benefiting both performance apparel and footwear.
While e-commerce experienced a particularly strong performance in terms of distributing sportswear during 2020, encouraging a high number of brands to head online for both sales and marketing, taking an omnichannel approach to sales in terms of in-store purchases will play an important role after the threat of the pandemic has waned and consumers regain their confidence in terms of visiting physical stores to try on apparel and footwear. Some consumers also appreciate the expertise of sales assistants in sports goods stores, particularly as they can offer advice about performance apparel or footwear.
Greater diversification in terms of materials and occasions are also expected to expand sportswear over the forecast period. For instance, local sports player P.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Sportswear industry in Australia with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Sportswear research and analysis database.
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