The US women’s athletic wear industry stayed flat in 2019, trailing the strong men’s apparel field for the third year in a row. During the same era, active wear sales grew two per cent among men. One explanation may be that American men have long had national stores servicing their active wear needs, whereas women don’t have such an equivalent counterpart. Women aged 25 to 34 in the US typically make up the bulk of women’s active wear sales, but sales for this category dropped last year. American women are more active than ever, but their male counterparts don’t buy as much fitness wear. Leisure and fitness goods are driving active wear purchases for most women.
In the US, the women’s athletic apparel market remains the largest disappointment of the sports industry, and its greatest opportunity. Traditional athletic labels are also suffering at the cost of vertical points. The activewear model is not matched with the woman today.
Brands and retailers need to put a lot of money behind a woman’s product and create a genuine link and understand where she’s shopping. But with more women and girls playing and being involved more and more, growth in the category is expected to continue. For the first time in history, women bear more races than men.