Retail in Asia

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China’s sportswear market projected to reach USD82.8 billion by 2024

Athleisure, a term coined to describe the combination of athletic and leisurewear, has gained significant popularity in recent years, driven by evolving consumer preferences and a global shift toward wellness.

The Chinese market for yoga apparel alone is projected to reach USD3 billion by 2028, as the country’s sportswear industry grows at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of above 9 percent.

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Fuelled by rising disposable incomes, increased health consciousness, and a desire for clothing that is both stylish and comfortable, the athleisure segment is also accelerating thanks to the growing popularity of fitness and sports events, and social media influencers advocating for active lifestyles.

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Purchasing Power

A majority of Chinese consumers make athleisure-related purchases every three to six months, but exhibit a certain price sensitivity when it comes to the segment, with average spending below USD55 per purchase event.

Key to the trend is the growth of e-commerce platforms, which has facilitated price comparisons and made it easier for consumers to find the best deals.

Consumers can quickly browse through multiple online stores, compare prices, and choose affordable options.

While there is a growing appetite for athleisure, many consumers consider it a relatively new and trendy concept. Whether the purchase is for an everyday item or a sports item, consumers may still be testing their own appetite for this category and how it fits into their lifestyle.

Purchasing Channels & Buying Factors

A 2022 forecast said China’s sportswear market is projected to reach an estimated value of USD82.8 billion by 2024.

For this segment, physical stores (62 percent) and e-commerce platforms (61 percent) are the preferred channels for purchasing athleisure products, followed by the brands’ websites.

Chinese consumers seem to have largely adopted athleisure products into their daily life, which is promising for the category. They have also exhibited a high preference for domestic brands, despite the market entry of global athleisure companies.

The key purchase factor is comfort (74 percent), followed by price (61 percent). The design including fabric and fit are also crucial considerations for consumers when making choices with regards to athleisure wear.

Download Retail in Asia’s special report for free to access further highlights on the rise of athleisure in mainland China. Explore how the category is faring with a comprehensive analysis of the market landscape outlining consumption behaviour and preferences toward the category, and a look at how two leading athleisure brands, Lululemon and Maia Active, are approaching the market.