Sportswear was negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but to a lesser extent than menswear and womenswear, as the category benefitted from an increase in outdoor activities and from consumers spending more time at home wearing more comfortable clothes. However, the temporary closure of gyms and other sporting activities, as well as people trying to avoid places with a lot of people, such as shops and gyms, resulted in a negative performance overall.
Sports goods stores, which have been under pressure in the last couple of years due to rising competition from e-commerce and maturity as a category, registered strong growth in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. While most sports outlets saw declining sales in the first quarter, all major sports chains, such as XXL, Intersport, and Sport1, registered strong growth in the second and third quarter of 2020, with some recording their highest ever sales, when other apparel stores recorded a decline.
In a competitive environment, the leading sportswear brands in Norway, such as Nike, Adidas and Helly Hansen, performed better than other brands in 2020, despite seeing a drop in sales (except Helly Hansen, which maintained its current value share). The wide distribution network of these brands and their strong online presence across e-commerce platforms, including their availability across most third party e-commerce sites, meant that they were able to reaffirm their strong respective positions in 2020 at the expense of smaller brands.
As with all apparel categories, sportswear is expected to register growth in 2021. Sportswear will continue to account for a rising share of overall apparel and footwear sales as more Norwegians continue to take interest in an active lifestyle.
Domestic outdoor brands and international performance sportswear giants are expected to remain the main beneficiaries of the sportswear trend in Norway. Despite Norway having a long-standing tradition of outdoor activities, participation became even more popular during the review period, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this.
Fashion brands, especially low-cost brands, struggle to gain share within sportswear in Norway, and this is unlikely to change over the forecast period, even though most major apparel players, such as H&M, KappAhl and Lindex, have sports-oriented sub-brands or ranges. Fashion players have mainly focused on simple and discreet sportswear to appeal to consumers seeking “the basics”.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Sportswear industry in Norway with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
If you're in the Sportswear industry in Norway, our research will help you to make informed, intelligent decisions; to recognise and profit from opportunity, or to offer resilience amidst market uncertainty.
This report originates from Passport, our Sportswear research and analysis database.
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