ATLANTA -- Sports apparel firms are up against a shrinking manufacturer base, a dramatically altered retail arena and an increasingly demanding consumer. Growth in women's apparel will continue to come from crossover applications, rather than...
ATLANTA -- Sports apparel firms are up against a shrinking manufacturer base, a dramatically altered retail arena and an increasingly demanding consumer. Growth in women's apparel will continue to come from crossover applications, rather than sports-specific products.
This was the view that emerged at Financial Day, the traditional kickoff to the Super Show here, where industry leaders and market analysts gather for a look at the financial health of specific companies and the industry in general.
A market study by Kurt Salmon Associates pinpointed many of the trends. Among the survey's highlights:
Consumers are shopping less but spending more. The trend is away from the mall and toward direct clubs, mail order and factory outlet stores.
Consumers want individualized product, immediacy and value.
Home shopping is creating a direct link between suppliers and consumers; manufacturers will increase inventory and ship direct. To implement Quick Response, manufacturers will need high tech information systems capable of automatic stock replenishment.
Manufacturers should think globally, expanding into new markets such as Asia and Europe.
Independent manufacturers will continue to be absorbed by larger firms, particularly in licensed apparel.
Brand portfolios are needed to reach multiple distribution channels, as are stronger ties with key retailers.
The proliferation of catalogs and TV shopping networks will dramatically affect traditional retailers, said Jim Severyn, who heads the athletic and leisure markets for KSA.
"Some retailers will respond by going into other avenues, such as home shopping and computer networks," he said. "There will still be a need for stores, but they will have to make shopping fun, with concept shops."
U.S. sales of sports apparel, estimated at $14 billion wholesale in 1993, are expected to increase only 1 to 2 percent in 1994.
"The future of the market depends on expanding casual or crossover usage, as sports/fitness usage accounts for just 8 percent of sales, while casual is 35 percent and active/casual is 56 percent," said John Riddle, president and chief executive officer of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, which sponsors the Super Show.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"