Next week, Net-a-Porter officially launches Net-a-Sporter, which sells high-end activewear from Adidas by Stella McCartney, L’Etoile Sport, MONREAL London. There are also promises of capsules with Lisa Marie Fernandez and Zimmerman. This announcement comes a year after U.K.-based retailer Sweaty Betty (equivalent of U.S.’s Lululemon) opened the first U.S. store and estimated a 200% increase in U.S. orders by year-end. And just this week, Sweaty Betty was named as the competitor that could take the place of Canadian Lululemon as it struggles to keep earnings from falling.
Both Sweaty Betty and Net-a-Porter are tapping the sportswear as street clothing trend and its repeated appearances on runways. But an interest in fitness is also growing, suggesting the appetite for activewear is here to stay. Public gym memberships in the U.K. have grown from 2.86 million in 2010 to 3.2 million last year. All of those gym-goers need something to wear, as last year’s $1.1 billion in global sales for Nike’s women’s training products can attest. By 2019, the global sports apparel market is expected to grow $178 billion.
Even more incentive for said brands (and others) to expand their online and in-store Sportswear offerings. So far, two British brands have gotten a head start.