When it comes to sports retail, consumers’ tastes are constantly evolving. Today, consumers want clothing and accessories suitable for a variety of activities so that they can go from the street to the gym to the yoga studio without pause. Furthermore, they want to look good while they’re doing it. Today’s retailers work hard to keep up with changing consumer tastes. Some do this well, while others are struggling to stay ahead of continuously emerging trends. In the third quarter of 2017, for example, mega-sports retailers Nike and Under Armour reported slight decreases in revenue.
According to financial analysts, this occurred because it’s becoming increasingly difficult to prosper in the field.
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Still, these losses are relatively small in this burgeoning market. The firms are losing a little traction due to the proliferation of underdog sportswear startups dotting the sports retail landscape. Nevertheless, major sports retail players, such as Adidas, Nike and Under Armour, are continuing to dominate the industry.
Despite market penetration by competitors, big-name sports retailers are strongly imprinted in the minds of those with active lifestyles. However, many consumers view these brands as equipment intended for professional athletes, rather than for everyday active people.
To combat this sentiment, savvy marketers such as Adidas have partnered with the likes of rap superstar Kanye West to give their brand heightened appeal with mainstream active lifestyle buyers. Other retailers, such as Reebok, have opted to develop cultural relevance with targeted initiatives, such as the Reebok Innovation Collective, which encourages cutting-edge design companies to partner with the major manufacturer in creating new activewear.
For now, sports retailers are increasingly recognizing that they must broaden their focus, do a better job of engaging active lifestyle consumers and promote value for their brands.
Published by the New Jersey Institute of Technology Online MBA program.