Dick's is releasing a new private line of clothes, and Nike and Under Armour should be worried

Second SkinDick’s Sporting GoodsSecond Skin is designed with specific intense athletes in mind.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is continuing its private push.

The sporting goods retailer is releasing a new line of private-label training apparel called Second Skin. The gear is aimed at the elite athlete, with technical specifications that those customers demand.

Dick’s VP Ryan Eckel called this an “underserved customer segment” in an interview with Business Insider.

“We really focused, in a very hard way, on this athlete and what their needs are, and built the product around that,” he said.

Second Skin is designed specially for high-intensity activities like CrossFit. For example, the Second Skin shirt has grips that keep it from riding up the back, as well as compression that grips important muscles to aid in recovery. It’s mean to exist in a niche in the market that demands high-performing gear, and not the mainstream gym goer.

Dick’s has already released a line of Second Skin compression undergarments, but this release is the first line of apparel. Prices range from $US40 to $US70 for tops and bottoms for both men and women.

While that is more expensive than typical sportswear, Dick’s says the unique properties make it a value, and it’s still likely less than a comparable garment from a name brand like Nike or Under Armour.

Second Skin is not to be confused with athleisure, however.

“These athletes don’t necessarily want big logos and flashy colours. They want understated, they want minimalist design,” Eckel said. “Everything you need and nothing you don’t need.”

Dick’s CEO Edward Stack has previously said in earnings calls it was consolidating its vendor partnerships and focusing on core brands that its customers are clamoring for. That leaves space for the private label brands it’s developing in-house, each targeted at a different fitness consumer, like the Calia brand developed with Carrie Underwood.

“The launch of Second Skin will help fill a void in our store,” Eckel said.

Should Dick’s keep finding niches in the sportswear market to fill with specialised new private labels like Second Skin, that could present an issue for brands like Nike and Under Armour who currently occupy those spaces with their more general offerings and are still looking for room to grow.

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