“Athleisurewear” and women’s wear make great strides
Women’s sportswear sales grew faster than overall apparel sales in 1Q15. In dollar terms, sales volumes of activewear rose by 9% in 1Q15. Women’s wear and children’s clothing recorded higher growth rates at 9% and 15%, respectively, than men’s wear at 6%. Workout bottoms and sweatshirts saw strong growth. Sales of sneakers rose 8% year-over-year.[1. Matt Powell, The NPD Group]
In comparison, overall US retail sales for clothing and footwear rose by 3% year-over-year to $55.1 billion in 1Q15. According to the United States Census Bureau, sales at sporting goods, hobby, books, and music stores rose 5.2% year-over-year to $19.3 billion. Sales comparisons in the first quarter of 2015 benefited slightly from an earlier Easter and poor weather in 1Q14.
Top market shares
Nike (NKE) was the market leader for activewear overall—including both men and women—with a 13% share of the market. Under Armour (UA), which overtook Adidas (ADDYY) last year as the number two US sportswear company, cemented its position. UA’s market share came in at 6%, and ADDYY’s came in at 3%. Hanes (HBI) took 3% of the market in 1Q15.
NKE, UA, and HBI together constitute ~1% of the portfolio holdings in the iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF (IVW). NKE comprises over 5% of the Fidelity Select Consumer Discretionary Portfolio.
Key apparel business drivers
Nike grew North America[4. US and Canada] apparel sales by 10.4% to $3.2 billion in the nine months ended February 28, 2015. Apparel sales in Western Europe grew by 19% on a constant-currency basis. North America and Western Europe each reported higher revenues due to higher selling prices. Growth in its direct-to-consumer business and women’s training business was a key driver. Nike will declare full-year results for fiscal 2015 later this month.
Under Armour clocked total apparel sales of $555 million in 1Q15, up ~21% year-over-year. UA derives over 90% of its revenue from the US.