UK Sportswear Industry Analysis Essay

There exists a separate sportswear sector which is spiritually owned by few colossal players in the market. In the recent trends sportswear are being used as a mean of fashion rather than for a specific function or performance and very few are used for sports purpose. During the last one year those parents who have less than 15 years of age children as compare to those who do not have children are 50% more likely to purchase sportswear, equipments and sports clothing.

The research entails that consumer spending has increased because majority of the sportswear are being used as casual wear and the increased endorsements of celebrities and world-class players has heightened the sales to the peak specifically in case of sports clothing.

Unfortunately majority of the retailers get crowded towards those areas which seem emerging and profitable and it results in worst scenario of price competition. UK Sportswear Industry Analysis: Current Size and Value of the Sportswear Sector:

They perform as stimuli for majority of the consumers and lead buyers.

Different festivals are organized which amplify demand all through summer. The entire economy is dealing with a critical situation where there exist credit crunch which has immensely affected the consumer behavior. During the economic upheaval consumers remained highly cautious and spending pattern has changed drastically. During 2009 major cut-back can be seen in non-essential spending specifically in case of sports footwear, sports casual and sports clothing.

Furthermore the episode of FIFA World Cup in 2010 imposed fierce price competition among major retailers of UK where each one of them consistently focused on in-store revenue generation and profit maximization. It has been anticipated that the upcoming Euro and London Olympics in 2012 will surely boost the sales across diverse sports (like golf, skates, tennis, water sports, fishing and many more) and will create opportunities for major businesses operating the sports sector.

It was also highlighted that the market share of sports clothing sector will amplify due to upcoming different festivals and events and new generation is also inspired by modern fashion trends. It was also highlighted sports clothing and performance wear had outshined sports casual wear and important performance wears like Nike footwear for football games remained preeminent as compare to casual Nike T-Shirts. According to Report Linker (2007) consumers spent 9. 7 billion pounds in the sportswear sector during the year of 2006.

The amount was spent on diverse sports comprising of footwear, equipment, subscriptions, clothing and even participating in live sports events. The intact amount represents just 1. 2% of the consumer overall spending. Moreover it has gradually declined since 2002. One of the important facts reveals that the overall expenditure on sportswear sector is much higher as compare to consumer spending where government provides subsidies to the sector so that less well off customers can effectively participate.

The government along with DCMS (department for culture, media and sports) give funding to local authorities and different sports councils. It also invests in schools, parks, leisure areas and pools. National lottery has also contributed a major amount in the industry. It has been estimated that just half of the population of adults dwelling in UK effectively participate in competitive sports otherwise majority of them simply perform general activities in order to keep them healthy and fit. Previously during 1970s and 1980s general activities comprise of swimming, aerobics, gyms and jogging.

Later on expensive health clubs were formulated which provided collective service at one place. However the market is gradually moving towards saturation. Very few prefer challengeable and competitive sports like football and golf. Diverse specialized firms are providing services in the category of outdoor games. It has been estimated that the consumer expenditures on sportswear will gradually increase in 2011. According to Mintel (2009) sportswear was at the boom during 1990s however in the recent days the market is being consolidated.

Most of the well known brands are being used for fashion and casual wear. The market is getting polarized and businesses are left with performance wear, fashionable cloths and comforting cloths while others are facing wobbly circumstances and challenging phase. However several opportunities have been highlighted and London Olympics is being considered as emerging golden days. During the period specialized businesses like Lyle & Scott are continuously making efforts to sustain and further expand across the emerging markets and few firms are also highlighting the importance of heritage and nostalgia.

It has been found that the consumer economy will boost and spending will increase towards performance sportswear which seems to provide prosperous environment in case of major retailers. Notwithstanding with the recent economic upheaval, the market value of the sports good industry accounts for 5,646 million pounds in 2010 as compare to 5,600 million pounds during 2006. It has been estimated that the market will grow at 4-6% from 2011 onwards. According to Verdict (2008) the intact sportswear market of United Kingdom faced sudden decline in the recent years.

The key constituent of the overall market include outdoor equipments, sports gears and bicycles. The consumption pattern has decreased and majority of consumers are concerned about finances. They purchase cost effective outdoor equipments in order to sustain health fitness. Moreover bicycle buyers considered it as an effective mean of transportation. During the last five years sports footwear and clothing has increased from 4. 7% to 4. 9% however the market share of sports clothing sector has declined from 35. 2% to 32. 9% during 2003-2008.

The government has introduced a green transport plan where it has provided tax incentives on bicycles. Consumers can save up to 50% of the price of bicycles through national insurance saving and unique tax programs. Moreover major sports events like World Cup, Ashes and Olympic stimulate the sales during seasonal purchases. Throughout the year sports events contribute a lot in reaching sales troughs and peaks. The sales forecast entails that the market growth rate in sports sector during 2008-2013 will sustain between 14. 7% and 13. 8%.

In comparison to USA, dwellers in UK prefer own brands a lot. Due to prevailing adverse market conditions more and more buyers have opted own brands casual wears due to which retailers also decided to place their own brands in the retail stores. Prior to the economic upheaval, profit margin was high on own brands nevertheless due to the recent increase in the price of electricity and fuel sudden decline can be seen in the profit margin as well. Unfortunately the discretionary nature is too less and retailer cannot cut back on branded products.

Moreover the level of competition is so intensive in own brand market of casual wear due to the oversupply from retailers of fashion based clothing therefore retailers have to rely on unique collections of branded sportswear in order to create a point of difference. Trends Analysis: Infomat (2008) presented the following trend analysis of UK Sportswear market: • A move towards mid-prize market: More and more customers are moving towards the budget end of the market. • Designs and Outlets: Discount retailing is gaining prominence in UK. In USA businesses gives discounts for 30%-50%.

Although the concept is still immature in UK and it has been forecasted that as soon as specific brands like Gap, Marks and Spencer will expand in UK, the price competition will further get intensive. Moreover branded sportswear will be more preferred in UK in the upcoming years. • Informality: Although there continue strict dress code policy in corporations, restaurants and other sectors even then management and subordinates believe that the policy must be eradicated and reflects that the entire industry is gradually moving towards informality.

• Sportswear: Slowly and gradually consumers understand the importance of sports and are moving towards sports sector. It is being considered as a leisurewear market and it is tending toward informality. The UK sportswear will expand as USA key players like Foot Locker and others have entered the market. • Brand Extension: As businesses are introducing own brands, meanwhile they are also opting for brand extension to further extend the product width. • Textile preference: More and more customers opt for textile garments due of comfort, and durability.

It has forecasted that major technological changes in the textile sector are taking place and price will also increase in the nearest future. • Prominence across fashionable sportswear: The younger generation gives more importance to trendy clothing and fashionable sportswear. It has been estimated that majority of the retailers will combine both function and fashion in order to meet the needs and requirements of potential customers. Global Analysis: Just-Style (2009) instigated that instead of uncertainty in workplace consumer showed positive attitude towards performance sportswear. They actively participated in soft sports.

The research examined the magnitude impact of economic downturn on the industry and found that for the consecutive 4-years from 2003-2007 the market growth rate was 9. 4% where athletic footwear market contributed the major portion. In comparison to this fact, the worth of the industry declined from $144. 91 billion in 2007 to $142. 13 billion in 2009. The sales declined by 2. 2% from 2007 to 2009 in the category of athletic footwear. Worst situation was faced by North America, Europe, Korea and Japan and key analyst forecasted that the industry will gradually recover during 2009-2012.

It has been assumed that the industry will further improve as the demand for sports trainers will gradually increase. The brief analyses of supply chain management in sportswear industry reveals that China owns the leading position in the export of textile and clothing. However Bangladesh is competing face to face with weekly wage rate half of that of China. About 40% of the world’s sportswear market and athletic market is captured by Nike and Adidas. Moreover globalization, preference towards casual wearing and observing sports at television will further boom growth in number of developing countries.

Key Players in the Sportswear sector: According to Biz Ed (2004) all the way through finest streets of UK major changes have been made during the past 20 years. New names became prominent and dissolved however several brands successfully accepted change management and exist in the country as the major retailers in the sportswear industry. The top notch players in the retail sportswear business are as follows: • JJB Sports plc: JJB Corporate (2010) acknowledged that the business was started in 1971 by John Broughton. Afterwards it was purchased by JJ Braddock which later on sold to JJ Bradburn.

Subsequently David Whelan purchased the business and decided to keep the prior name of JJB. It owned 4 stores in 1976 which expanded into 120 stores till 1994 and meanwhile the company got listed in London Stock Exchange. During 1998 JJB Sports opted for the acquisition of a separate sports division and finally transformed into the biggest sports retailer across the country. Today it owns 250 different stores in UK and has further expanded into republic of Ireland. The average selling space ranges to 13,000 sq ft which resembles a large superstore involving finest layout management tools.

The product portfolio comprises of bicycles, footwear, equipment, accessories, textile, golf and many more. The key proposition remains with quality brand and leisure services. It also stocks well known brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Under Armour, New Balance, Speedo, Puma, Asics and many more. The business caters for Men, Women, juniors, Children and Infants as well. The business provides encrypted e-commerce platform for the convenience of its customers. One can also customize the color of the chosen brand online. • John David Group plc: According to JD Sports (2010) the business was established in 1981 by John David.

In 1996 it got listed in London Stock Market and at that time it owned 56 retail stores across different areas of the country. It is well known for its innovative visual sportswear collection. In 2002 it further expanded into 200 retail stores through different acquisitions which later on transformed into JD Sports. The corporation acquired 70 major stores from All Sports and provides finest casual and fashionable sportswear. The firm deals in both UK as well as in Ireland. It also acquired Scotts and Bank Fashion in 2004 and 2007 which provides online services to potential customers.

The business also owns 57% share in Pentland Group. Today it operates 400 mega stores in UK and Ireland. It caters for Men, Women and Junior. They deal in clothing, footwear, stocks well known brands and many more. • Pentland Group: Pentland (2010) instigated that the business was started in 1932 as a Liverpool Shoe Company which sold fashionable footwear’s. In 1973 it got listed in London Stock Exchange and during the same year it was renamed as Pentland Industries Limited. During 1984 it owned 55% share of the International Reebok and during 1989 the name changed to Pentland Group plc.

In 1991 it sold all the shares of Reebok and acquired major UK brands like Berghaus, Speedo, KangaROOS, Mitre, Brasher, Red or Dead and Ellesse. Later on it also purchased Franco Sarto, Lacoste, Ted Baker, Box Fresh, One True Saxon, Hunter Boot, Radcliffe and Gio-Gio. It specifically caters for men, women and children. • Blacks Leisure Group plc: According to Black Leisure (2010) the business was founded in 1985 by D Crawford Black. It was a dream of Thomas Black, the grandfather of D Crawford Black, who had a gold fever and entered into a ship building industry.

Thomas Junior started the trading business. It gradually acquired major businesses like City Camp and Sports, Jackson and Warr and Milletts. The business later on merged with Greenfields and introduced Blacks Leisure Group plc. In 1988 the corporation acquired Alpine Sports. Today it owns 313 stores both in UK and republic of Ireland. The business specifically caters for adults. As per 2002, the worth of UK Sportswear market was calculated as 4. 05 billion pounds out of which sports clothing accounted for 2. 9 billion pounds and footwear accounted for 1. 15 billion pounds.

The market is dominated by chief brands comprising of Nike, Adidas and Reebok. Moreover other specialized brands like Pentland, Hi-tech and Umbro also reflect prominent position in the potential market. For the past 10 years competition has further intensified and major players faced financial problems. In the last 20 years business operations have been further complicated and it has been estimated that major changes will place in the sportswear industry as trends are continuously changing and businesses need to consistently update and control business processes and operations.

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