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Athleisurewear sees a boom in the US apparel industry

The highly fragmented US apparel industry in the United States is estimated at about $182 billion, based on 2015 United States Census Bureau data. Chain stores and mass merchandisers have typically been more prominent in the clothing and accessories market. The US market for apparel has grown at a CAGR of 2.5 per cent over the last 10 years and 3.4 per cent over the last five years. In the last 10 years, the overall market for clothing in the United States has grown in all the years except 2008 and 2009. Conditions were challenging in these two years as a result of the Great Recession, which dampened US retail sales overall.

Meanwhile, the growth rate in activewear or athleisurewear has outpaced the overall clothing market, with a double-digit CAGR over the past five years. Incidentally, most of the gains in the clothing category in the past five years appear to have come from growth in the athleisurewear category. Athleisure is a term that was coined to describe apparel used for a variety of activities, including workout gear, clothes for hanging out with friends, and loungewear. Lately, workwear has also tended toward the casual. Consumers, particularly women and children, have shown a distinct preference for more casual apparel, including yoga wear and other athletic performance wear.