Athleisure is a fashion trend of wearing casual and comfortable clothing that can be worn for exercise as well as normal day wear. Leggings, hoodies, denim jackets, canvas sneakers, and cotton caps are some of the examples of athleisure. Athleisure was introduced into the fashion industry in order to innovate something new in the market. Rising popularity of fitness resulted in many sports brands improvising clothes for athletic performance as well as for a leisure lifestyle. Giant athletic brands started to become more athleisure wear brands. As per Business Insider, in 2015, the retail industry growth remained flat whereas athleisure sales grew by 12%.

Athleisure – Competitive Landscape

The athleisure market is moderately fragmented with a few players garnering major chunk of the market share. These manufacturers have a presence through a network of distributors and suppliers worldwide. Contract manufacturing is the key for many large brands to meet the demand. Some of the major manufacturers of athleisure are highlighted below. 

Adidas AG

Adidas AG is a German multinational corporation specialized in manufacturing shoes, clothing, and accessories. The company has strong presence in over 100 countries worldwide and employs more than 57000 people. The company every year produces over 900 million sports and sports lifestyle products with independent manufacturing partners. 

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Puma SE

Established in the year 1948, PUMA SE is a German company specialized in manufacturing athletic and casual footwear, apparel, and accessories. The company has independent partners with authorized license to develop, design, sell, and manufacture eyewear, fragrances, watches etc. The company has strong presence in Europe, North America, Middle East & Africa, Asia, and South America. 

Nike, Inc.

Nike, Inc., together with its holdings, develops, markets, sells, and designs athletic apparel, equipment, footwear, and accessories worldwide. The company offers athletic products in nine categories such as Nike basketball, running, football, the Jordan brand, women’s training, men’s training, action sports, sportswear, golf etc. As of 2018, the company employs over 73,000 people in North & South America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific. 

Under Armour, Inc.

Under Armour Inc. is active in the development, marketing, and distribution of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories for women, men, and young athletes, and for active lifestyle and outdoor activities. The company’s sales are primarily generated through wholesale channels, which include national and regional sporting goods chains, independent and specialty retailers, department store chains, and leagues and teams etc.

New Balance Athletics, Inc.

Headquartered in Massachusetts, United States, and established in the year 1906, New Balance Athletics, Inc. is a U.S. multinational corporation specialized in manufacturing athletic shoes, and apparel for men, women, and kids.

Other Prominent Players

Apart from these key players, other players associated with the manufacturing of athleisure include Lululemon athletica Inc., Hennes & Mauritz AB, Ten Thousand, Inc., and Human Performance Engineering. 

Athleisure – Dynamics

Rising popularity of fitness augmenting the growth of the market

One of the prime reasons for the growth of the athleisure market is growth of the fitness industry. Millennial with affinity for fitness and wellness have popularized clothing that is cool, effortless, and yet comfortable, for workouts as well as casual wear. Additionally, growth of boutique fitness clubs in the last couple of years have also resulted in proliferation of the athleisure market.

Additionally, corporate houses are adopting fitness and wellness initiatives to increase employee productivity and reduce attrition rate, absenteeism, and sick leaves. Availability of fitness and wellness centers within the work premises is encouraging sports loving employees to wear athleisure at work. This growing popularity is further anticipated to boost the demand for athleisure. 

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Athleisure Market – Segmentation

On the basis of product type, the athleisure market can be divided into:

  • Sneakers
  • Yoga Pants
  • Shorts
  • Leggings
  • Tights & Joggers
  • Others (Sports Bras, Sports Jackets etc.)

Based on end-user, the athleisure market can be classified into:

  • Men
  • Women
  • Kids

In terms of distribution channel, the athleisure market can be classified into:

  • Online
  • Company owned portals
  • E-commerce sites
  • Offline
  • Supermarkets & hypermarkets
  • Other retail based outlets 

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