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Athleisure drives apparel growth

The global apparel and footwear market grew by four per cent in 2016. Much of this growth is driven by sports-inspired clothing. Both sports-inspired footwear and apparel are growing at a rapid pace, registering ten per cent and six per cent growth in 2016.

Though performance sportswear takes the lead in terms of market size, growth in sports-inspired clothing, or athleisure, is being witnessed in emerging markets such as India and Thailand as well as core markets such as the US. Athleisure has evolved from what brands dabbled in with capsule collections to a full-fledged business opportunity. With a wider selection and greater availability, sports-inspired products are gaining in popularity among a consumer base that seeks to incorporate sports-styled designs into their everyday wardrobe.

Sportswear has been up seven per cent for the third year in a row. However, 2017 will prove to be a challenging year for all categories including athleisure. Apparel and footwear growth will continue with a CAGR of two per cent in constant value terms to 2021, but the era of robust growth following the last recession could be over. This is a time of Brexit, a Trump presidency, China’s slower growth combined with an increasingly crowded market and consumer priorities shifting away from consumption.