Prior to the pandemic, sportswear was gaining popularity amongst younger Saudi Arabian consumers, who find such clothing comfortable and fashionable. This trend towards comfort has been reinforced by home seclusion and the shift towards remote working and distance learning during the COVID-19 crisis.
The prominence of a younger consumer base in sportswear serves to make it a particularly important apparel and footwear category for e-commerce, as this demographic is largely comprised of digital natives and tends to be significantly more tech-savvy than older consumers. This is highlighted by the particularly strong commitment of brands such as adidas and Nike to developing their online presence.
adidas Group remained the largest player in sportswear in Saudi Arabia in 2021, though both companies saw their share eroded as a result of increasing competition from smaller players in an increasingly crowded and fashion-conscious environment. The shift to online shopping has made smaller brands more accessible to many consumers.
Increasing public participation in sport is an important focus of government policy in Saudi Arabia. The government aimed to double the proportion of the national population engaged in sporting activity from 20% in 2021 to 40% by 2030.
Athleisure, the trend towards consumers adopting athletic apparel and footwear for use in non-sporting settings, is becoming increasingly prominent in the Saudi Arabian market. Technological innovations in fabrics, the trend towards sports-inspired aesthetics, and the body-positive movement have been fundamental to the success of sportswear brands in expanding beyond use in a sports/physical exercise environment into everyday life.
E-commerce is expected to continue growing strongly in the coming years stimulated first by necessity during the COVID-19 crisis and then followed by a growing appreciation of the channel’s convenience. This will be due to consumers’ busy lifestyles, increased price-consciousness following the economic upheaval and financial difficulties caused by the pandemic, and the growing number of entrants to the Saudi Arabian market.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Sportswear industry in Saudi Arabia 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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