Sportswear Retail: How to Win in the Competitive Sportswear Retail Race



The global sportswear market is predicted to reach $184.6 billion by 2020, according to Allied Market Research. Yet while it is is projected to grow 4.3% annually till then, discount stores are projected to be the big winners in the competitive sportswear retail market, with company branded stores also capturing a greater share of sales. That pretty well leaves the 25,000 or so specialty independent sportswear and sporting goods stores out in the cold.

To help specialty independent sportswear and running store retailers gain an edge in the competitive retailing race, Unity Marketing has prepared this research-led study of the sportswear retail market. With interviews with industry experts, successful retailers and expert analysis, this study explores strategies that can turn any sportswear store into a shop that POPs!

Sportswear retail disruption

Increasingly sportswear retailers are losing traction in their local markets due to disruption from their product suppliers, like Nike. As the expand their direct-to-consumer strategies by opening branded stores and outlets and driving sales to the internet through their own websites and Amazon, it is creating conflict between independent retailers and their product suppliers.

“Where once wholesale suppliers were trusted and valued partners with independent retailers, today those relationships have become frayed,” explains Pamela Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of the report.  “Yet specialty independent retailers still play a dominant role as influencers for customers’ brand selections. Independents with their selection across many brands fit the right brand to the individual customer, rather than the customer to the brand, as Nike and other major DTC brands are doing. This customized, personalized, brand-agnostic service is a key competitive strategy for independents.”

One-size, one-brand doesn’t fit all

Also disrupting business-as-usual for specialty independent sportswear retailers are the changing needs of the customer. Where retailers once served the needs of athletes in their specific pursuits — running, basketball and other team sports, walking, yoga, cross fit, etc. — many of today’s target customers are pursuing an active lifestyle, not one specific sport, and are looking for activewear that meets a wider range of needs.

“The ‘Holy Grail’ of successful sportswear retail today is finding the right performance-style balance,” Danziger says. “Athletes are by nature aspirational, always looking for an edge that will enhance performance. But increasingly they want to pursue their passion in style. Sportswear retailers need to meet their customers on both sides of the performance-style axis.”

Order this 45+ page report today and get insights and ideas that can take your independent specialty sportswear store to the next level — to become a shop that POPs!

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