As per a Global Industry Analysts study, the global market for sports and fitness clothing is projected to reach $231.7 billion by 2024. Asia-Pacific region is expected to be fastest growing, with a CAGR of 6.9 per cent over the forecast period. Most of the sales growth is expected to come from emerging markets, such as India and Thailand, as well as the US.
New brands drive growth
As per Euromonitor research, the Indian sportswear market grew from Rs 24,000 crore in 2014 to Rs 37,000 crore in 2016 at more than 50 percent over the past two years. The study forecasts the market will grow by 11.3 per cent in the 2016-2021 period. Though men’s wear comprises the biggest share, women’s market is progressing. This is due to growing awareness about women in individual sports category like running, marathon, and other fitness activities.
As a whole, the sportswear market in India has traditionally been dominated by the big international brands like: Reebok, Adidas, Nike and Puma. Most of these entered the country in 1990s and established their presence through local franchisees. But, in the recent past, a slew of brands, both local and international, have mushroomed to cater to the rising needs of the consumers. Celebrity launched brands are cashing in on their mammoth popularity amongst the commonality. Brands launched by Bollywood stars such as Hrithik Roshan and Jacqueline Fernandez are gaining popularity amongst counsumers.
Outdoor activities, pop culture, e-commerce boost growth
Contemporary trends like taking long vacations, going on bike rides, hiking, travelling and indulging in recreational activities have been instrumental in driving growth of outdoor, sports inspired apparel. Most of the reputed brands of the sportswear domain have a wide range of outdoor apparel that makes a significant contribution to the total brand revenue. Driving the sportswear trend further into the masses are Indian pop culture icons, who have become self-proclaimed spokespersons of the fitness movement that is sweeping the country by storm.
The online market is also bolstering growth of sportswear market in India. E-commerce has been instrumental in aiding brands reach smaller cities and towns where they are not physically present as yet. As the second innings of Indian retail revolution is likely to originate in the country’s smaller cities, these geographical locations have emerged as key points of importance for the sportswear industry too.
Internet and international trends keep the consumer updated with latest in sportswear technology. Sportswear brands are now launching products and technology at the same time as their global counter parts. The latest technology is brought to Indian audiences, giving them a taste of the type of innovation and experience the brand has to offer. Along with performance technology, trends such as athleisure and street style have played a big role in inspiring product and collections for the Indian market.
The sportswear segment in India, like many other fashion segment, is undergoing an astounding change of perception as well as evolution. It is becoming increasingly organised; and modern retail is picking pace in small cities too, much to the delight of brands, suppliers and retailers of sportswear and sports lifestyle products.