May 02, 2022
Walmart and Abercombie & Fitch recently launched activewear collections to become the latest chains to jump on the sweaty end of the athleisure bandwagon.
Walmart has teamed up with fashion designer Michelle Smith and cycling instructor Stacey Griffith on a line of women’s activewear and swimwear, “Love & Sports,” with an emphasis on bright, vibrant colors. The chain will launch shoes and accessories this fall.
In a blog entryDenise Incandela, executive vice president of apparel and private labels, Walmart US, noted that demand for activewear has increased during the pandemic, with NPD Group reporting that activewear sales increased 37% in 2021. be the next step in expanding our premium brand portfolio, and we’re doing it with a bold, exciting brand that fills a blank space for high-quality, high-performance sportswear and swims without the high price tag. .
Abercrombie launched a sportswear sub-brand for women and men, “YPB”, standing for “Your Personal Best”.
Kristin Scott, global brand president at A&F, said in a statement“We are dedicated to equipping our millennial consumers for every stage of their lives, whether they are traveling, brunching with friends or celebrating a wedding, for example. Being active is another key part of this lifestyle. , and now, with the launch of YPB, we can meet these specific needs.
Walmart appears to be catching up with Target, which last year saw its sportswear brand All in Motion become its tenth in-store brand to generate $1 billion in annual sales.
Abercombie in 2015 introduced an athleisure section on its website, “Sport to Street”, but also seems to lag behind its competition. H&M Sport was launched in 2013, GapFit in 2016 and American Eagle Outfitters launched the OFFLINE Sportswear by Aerie sub-brand in 2020. The active category is led by sports brands including Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Lululemon, Athleta, as well as up-and-coming companies such as Gymshark, Fabletics and Vuori.
McKinsey’s January “Sporting Goods 2022: The New Normal Is Here,” report predicts continued strong growth for the global sportswear market “as more people commit to leading healthier, more active lives” and work wardrobes become more relaxed.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is sportswear a major or minor opportunity for Walmart and Abercrombie & Fitch? What are the keys for each retailer as each competes for a share of the category?
“Is sportswear a major or minor opportunity for Walmart and Abercrombie & Fitch?”