The athletic apparel industry is soaring.
Longtime industry leaders Nike and Adidas are competing with relative newcomers Under Armour and Lululemon for consumers’ dollars.
The companies have identified which customers are the most lucrative — and are going after them.
Teens are increasingly buying gear from Nike and Lululemon over denim classics from brands like Abercrombie, according to a recent Piper Jaffray survey on teen spending.
Activewear now comprises 28% of teens’ apparel purchases, up from 6% in 2008. Nike, Lululemon, Under Armour, and Adidas are the most popular brands for athletic apparel.
Lululemon is expanding a sister brand called Ivivva for tween customers. And Adidas said it plans to work to be the go-to brand for teen athletes’ gear.
Women in their 20s and 30s are largely driving the “athleisure trend,” in which customers buy leggings with the intent of wearing them to the gym, errands, and brunch.
Nike is expanding its womens’ line, which it says could add $US2 billion in additional sales by 2017.
Dick’s Sporting Goods is launching a new line, Calia, with country singer Carrie Underwood.
Under Armour is also offering more products to women.
Lululemon has always gone after this demographic.
The ideal customer at Lululemon is “a 32-year-old professional single woman named Ocean who makes $US100,000 a year.”
Ocean is also “engaged, has her own condo, is travelling, fashionable, has an hour and a half to work out a day,” Founder Chip Wilson told NYT.
Adidas has said that it plans to go after more serious athletes to regain market share.
Reebok, which is owned by the company, is trying to win over a so-called “tough fitness” customer through partnerships with “high-intensity workout firm CrossFit and the gruelling, muddy Spartan race,” according to AdWeek.
Sunglasses company Oakley also started selling clothes to women with slogans like “for running, not running errands,” and for exercising not socializing.”
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