China, India to propel APAC’s sportswear retail growth

The two markets are seeing more local brands serve a value-seeking consumer base.

Rising demand from countries like China and India is expected to drive Asia-Pacific’s sportswear retailing market, which is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4% from $189.8b in 2020 to US$297.8b in 2025, according to a GlobalData report.

The growth is attributed to the lasting changes in the consumption trends during the pandemic, where 88% of respondents stated that they will spend the same or more on sportswear in the next five years, a survey found.

After the pandemic, the sportswear market will depend more on the APAC market. China in particular has rapidly recovered from the pandemic returning to a more normal retail environment, GlobalData noted.

“Key players such as Under Armour are reporting strong sales growth in the region. Another major market in the region India is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 12.9% between 2020-2025,” the report stated.

India and China will especially drive the growth of sportswear in the region, amidst a rapidly expanding urban population and the emergence of numerous local brands serving the large value-seeking consumer base, GlobaData’s Retail Analyst Ankita Roy said.

“However, sportswear brands will face the challenge of counterfeiting products in these markets where value for money overshadows quality requirements. This needs serious attention from retailers,” Roy said.

As most of the population were forced to work from home, more consumers have been more inclined towards maintaining physical and mental well-being, opening an opportunity for sportswear brands to market their products by strengthening online channels and customizing product lines for indoor activities, the report noted.

In particular, comfort and quality are the two primary purchase drivers of sportswear in APAC; with 83% and 88% of shoppers stating that comfort influences their purchase of sports clothing and footwear, respectively. Further, 81% and 85% of respondents said that quality is important while they shop for sports clothing and footwear, respectively.

APAC’s rapid recovery from the pandemic and its rising urban population will help the region’s sales dominate Europe and the Americas, becoming the largest region in terms of sportswear spent by 2025, GlobalData said.

“Upcoming mega sports events including the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and numerous other sporting events will fuel the APAC’s sportswear market, helping it return to normalcy faster than other parts of the world,” Roy added

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