There became a time in the last few years that catapulted active wear into full blown athleisure. Was it when the Lululemon-clad Los Angeleneos decided to do more than just get their green juice in their new cut-out leggings. Or was it when the overworked New Yorker elites had no choice but to run from Soul Cycle to a work lunch to then back to the office? Either way, the athletic trend has taken hold and shows no signs of stopping.
From Workout to Wherever
Evidence of this is furthered by the fact that Amazon wants in on it. Athleisure, which according to Merriam-Webster, is defined as “casual clothing meant to be worn both for exercising and for general use,” has been experiencing growth in a struggling industry. NPD Group research shows it has market size of around $44 billion in just the U.S.
The Take-Over Commences
Amazon has been gearing up by recruiting help from some of the largest suppliers of athletic apparel-much to the dismay of the reigning athleisure giants. According to Sourcing Journal Online. The powerhouse behind Gap Inc., Uniqlo and Kohl’s Corp., Makalot Industrial Co have been brought on board. In addition, Eclat Textile Co., has joined the trial run for the line.
The news of Eclat joining forces with Amazon has caused a frenzy due to the fact that they manufacture for some of the biggest names in athletic wear- Nike Inc., Lululemon Athletica Inc. and Under Armour Inc. It turns out it has not just caused a stir in the head offices of these brands, but also for shareholders too. In the same report, it came to light that Lululemon’s stock fell 4.9 percent to $57.55 after Bloomberg released the news of Amazon’s new venture. Along the same thread, Under Armour dropped 2.8 percent. Nike saw an initial drop but it’s shares were able to bounce back.
So what does this new Amazon venture mean for the market, the competition and the masses? It is too soon to tell, but with the acquisition of the leading competition’s suppliers as well as other industry experts, there is a reason to fret. Although, if the athletic-wear sector really is as strong, with continued growth and popularity among consumers, then it seems there could be room for everybody at the table. As long as each brand stays true to their point of differentiation within the market.