Denim is irreplaceable ! There is nothing which can match denim’s versatility and popularity .. We all believe this and want to continue believing this . But there are other competing products which are definitely catching up and trying to give denim a run for its money !
Athleisure :Clothing that combines athletic wear and leisurewear and go seamlessly from the workplace to the gym, from sitting to skipping,from meetings to marching ,from party to office and includes a whole lot of wear gear including yoga pants, leggings,. The Athleisure trend is catching on , specially in the US. As per NPD group , US, the sale of activewear including yoga pants , leggings etc climbed 7% for year ended June 2014 to $33 billion. For the same period , the sale of Jeans in US dropped 6% .
While the shift to the Athleisure clothing has been happening for many years now, it looks like it might get more pronounced now with comfort factor becoming more important for consumers. Many retailers including Macy’s, Foot Locker Inc., Gap Inc.’s Old Navy and Under Armour Inc have been witnessing propelling sales thanks to more Americans wearing workout-style gear whether they’re working out or not. An increasing number of women are sporting yoga and dressy sweat pants , for men hoodies are becoming more common . Retailers like Gap pushed further to take advantage of this trend by increasing their Athleta sales and increasing the number of stores (expected to cross 100) , Urban Outfitters, Macy’s and many other retailers are pushing deeper into the category.
So what does all this mean for denim industry ? Does it mean that the Athleisure trending will affect the sales of denim adversely?. Denim is a very broad category and covers most segments of the population and across all genres and ages. It also has presence in the active wear category and with technological advancements, it is pushing further into this category. The popularity of super stretches with over 60% elasticity are a testament to denim making inroads here. But still denim is not a complete match when it comes to the properties of activewear and leisurewear. The industry needs to put in more efforts to bring denim to a higher level and give a stronger competition to such products. Industry wide innovations and developments are needed to take denim and its fight to increase market share to next level.