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Jun 06, 2016

The latest trends in the running sector

The latest trends in the running sector
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The NPD Group monitors the sales of sports footwear and apparel in many countries around the world. For more information call the NPD Group sports team on 02082 371316

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The running category is one of the strongest performing categories and one of the key drivers of overall sales growth in the sports market in Great Britain.

British consumers spent £600 million on running footwear and apparel in 2015, according to NPD’s Online Consumer Panel. Consumer spending increased by 50 per cent in comparison to 2010 and since then the category has shown consistent year-on-year growth.

Increasing participation
During the last six years, 2014 was the best performing year, with double digit growth in both running footwear and apparel. In 2015, the category did not maintain the same pace as the year before, but still showed healthy growth.

Prices increased at a moderate rate against 2014 and the growth reported was mostly driven by an increase in demand. An additional 700,000 pairs of running shoes were sold in 2015 versus the previous year and volume sales in apparel increased by 500,000 units, according to NPD’s Online Consumer Panel.

The good performance experienced by the running category correlates with the latest Sport England survey results. During the 12 months to September 2015, athletics (which includes running) was ranked the second most popular sport in which adults took part at least once a week after swimming.

Furthermore, Sport England reported that athletics showed the biggest rise in participation. The number of adults taking part in athletics at least once a week has reached its highest level - 2.3 million people in the 12 months to September 2015.

Leisure use declining
Purchasers of running shoes and apparel are not all runners. Some buyers intend to use them at the gym, to play football or for other outdoor activities, while some intend to use them for leisure purposes.

However, since 2010 running shoes and apparel used for leisure have shown year-on-year decreases. In 2010, 28 per cent of running apparel purchased was intended to be used for leisure, while in 2015 this fell to 19 per cent.
Looking at running footwear, 31 per cent were intended to be used for leisure in 2010 against 22 per cent in 2015, according to NPD’s Online Consumer Panel.

In both running apparel and footwear, leisure usage showed a significant nine per cent drop. The reason for this is linked to the increasing popularity of running witnessed in recent years, as well as price.

The price of running shoes used for leisure has shown a strong increase since 2010 and the price gap with a simple leisure shoe has grown. On average, a running shoe used for leisure cost £8 more than a leisure shoe in 2015, while the cost of a running apparel product used for leisure was on average 14 per cent higher than leisure apparel in 2015.

Main factors influencing purchase
Price influences consumer decisions the most. However, there’s a difference when we compare running footwear and apparel, as 27 per cent of running apparel bought was influenced mostly by price in 2015. Looking at running shoes, although the price remains the most influential factor, the percentage is lower at 20 per cent.

Consumers do pay more attention to the price of running apparel, although paradoxically the average price of a running garment is much lower than running footwear.

Besides price, the most influential factors are look, fit and quality of the product for both running footwear and apparel.

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Leone 1947

Leone 1947

, Midlothian-Edinburghshire

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