Apparel retailers are pleased to see that the active-wear trend is continuing to boost sales. Businesses have labeled this category of clothing “athleisure,” because customers are no longer buying athletic clothes exclusively to exercise or play sports.
Now, Americans are clamoring for fashionable workout clothes that are multipurpose. It has become perfectly appropriate, for example, for women to wear yoga pants while out to eat or running errands. Fans of the trend say yoga pants are desirable because they go with anything, are very versatile, reasonably priced and don’t need to be ironed.
The Wall Street Journal calls athletics sales “a bright spot in a sluggish business,” and Barclays analysts have estimated that the athletic apparel market in the U.S. will increase by 50 percent and over $100 billion by the year 2020. Additionally, Yoga participation grew by 4.5 percent in 2013, while the demand for yoga gear grew by an astonishing 45 percent.
This growing popularity is not going unnoticed by retailers, who are striving to capitalize on the demand. Women’s athletic apparel is extremely well-developed, but company owners also want to cater to men. To do this, businesses have created jogger pants, which are trouser-like sweatpants with bands of elastic at the ankles. In the past, men have complained that jeans didn’t allow them to show off their athletic shoes, so industry leaders are hopeful about their marketability.
“Athletic leisurewear is huge,” said Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, an industry research firm. “More and more kids are gravitating toward fitness leisurewear to wear in the classroom, whether it’s Under Armour or Nike.”
Retailers are looking forward to a great holiday season in the athletics department. To prepare for the rush, make sure your point of sales systems are efficient and secure.