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US women active wear market flat

The market for US women’s activewear remained flat in 2019, trailing men’s active apparel sector for the third consecutive year. Among men, activewear sales were up two per cent in the same period. One reason could be that American men have long had national retailers serving their activewear needs, while there’s no such equal counterpart for women. Women between the ages of 25 and 34 in the US traditionally make up the majority of women’s activewear sales, but last year sales for this group fell. American women are more active than ever but they’re not buying as much workout wear as their male counterparts. Leisure and performance goods drive most women’s activewear sales.

The women’s athletic apparel market in the US remains the sports industry’s greatest failure, yet its biggest opportunity. Traditional athletic brands continue to struggle at the expense of vertical brands. The activewear retail model is not in sync with today’s woman.

Brands and retailers have to put a lot of resources behind a women’s product and make a sincere connection and understand where she shops. But with more women and girls increasingly playing sports and getting active, growth in the category is expected to follow. Women are running more races than men for the first time in history.


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