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Australian active wear sales predicted to soar
Ongoing consumer research conducted by Victoria University for the Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA) predicts that sales of activewear in Australia are expected to continue to grow by more than 20% by 2020.
The already booming retail sector, worth US$270 billion worldwide, is driven, according to lead researcher Professor Clare Hanlon by a desire to exercise "anywhere and anytime".
As reported by the BBC, the research suggests that sports brands have been slow to recognise the needs of female customers.
According to Professor Hanlon, the Sport Management Discipline Leader at Victoria University's College of Sport & Exercise Science, the industry took a long time to realise it needed to evolve
However, Professor Hanlon explains “finally companies are understanding the effects physical activity trends have on their industry and are listening to female customers on what they need.”
That includes rethinking how exercise clothes are sold, and improving things like store changing rooms.
ASGA Chief Executive Shannon Walker sees that brands have had to offer a better shopping experience to women, commenting "tey don't want to go to the old-fashioned sports store set up to cater for men. They want a retail experience set up for their needs."
In Australia, activewear sales are expected to grow by more than 20% between 2015 and 2020, with a large proportion of goods sold online.
Julie Stevanja started internet retailer Stylerunner in 2012, after becoming frustrated at the lack of choice available in the shops.
It soon became one of the fastest growing companies in Australia, and her sights are now set on expanding the business in Asia.
Stevanja told the BBC “there's been a huge shift to wellness.
"Everyone wants to be healthier and look better. They go hand in hand."
She also believes "enclothed cognition" - the idea that clothes help determine a person's behaviour - may have had a role in the popularity of activewear.
Stevanja advised "I think if you are in your activewear at the weekend, you're probably more likely to buy a green juice or a smoothie than you are to have a milkshake.
"People want to make healthier lifestyle choices. Sometimes the first step is actually associating with it, wearing something that makes you feel healthier."
Professor Hanlon agrees that the simple act of wearing activewear may help people feel they can become healthier.
She concluded “the research we've conducted ... shows females believe activewear facilitates physical activity and good health.”
The research, Active Wear: Forecasting Future Trends in Female Consumer Behaviour, is now in its Delphi Study phase.
Images: LornaJane activewear is a market leader (top) and Professor Clare Hanlon (below).
12th December 2016 - FASHION CONNECTS WITH WELLNESS, EXPERIENCES AND ‘ATHLEISURE’
29th June 2016 - NEW RESEARCH SHOWS WOMEN WANT FASHION AND FUNCTION IN ACTIVE WEAR
12th May 2016 - ACTIVE WEAR RESEARCH PROJECT MOVES INTO ‘DELPHI STUDY’ PHASE
7th April 2016 - COMEDY GROUP PARODIES THE ACTIVE WEAR TREND
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