The Boom of Athleisure

Akanksha Soni
Akanksha Soni Jul 05 2019 - 3 min read
The Boom of Athleisure
The athleisure industry is one that is reaping tremendous profits, due to the quickly changing consumer demands, and international brand saturation in the industry.

Five years ago, the sportswear being considered as fashionable was unthinkable for most. Today, however, the yoga pants and "gym clothes" which were passed off as casual wear since the '80s have very much taken over the mainstream apparel sector and are threatening to dethrone denims as the go-to basic. This is because athleisure, or athletic casual wear for the uninitiated, is the order of the day, and is dictating market trends in an unprecedented manner. Today, India is at par with wider global fitness trends. The booming economy and changing lifestyle preferences have compelled Indian consumers to be more health conscious and have add new health and wellness routines to their hectic lifestyles. This trend has largely benefited the athleisure industry in India, which now is among the top in-demand fashion segments of the country.

According to a research report published by Global Industry Analysts Inc., the global market for sports and fitness clothing is projected to reach US $231.7 billion by 2024. The research also indicates that technological developments designed to improve comfort and performance has also led to the growth in sales of athleisure. The report points out that India is expected to be fastest growing region with a CAGR of 6.9 percent over the forecast period. 

Factors Contributing to Rising Demands

Already one of the youngest nations, there is growing health awareness amongst Indian consumers and an increase in consumers taking up fitness activities such as aerobics, swimming, running, and yoga. This has translated to an increase in consumer expenditure on health and wellness, which has in turn contributed significantly to the growth of the segment.  Further, this growth can be attributed to the huge start up ecosystem in India and the culture of relaxed office spaces where comfortable clothing has replaced formal attire. 

 Whether or not one shows dedication in maintaining their gym routine is debatable, but it is an undeniable fact that gyms are doing well when it comes to their membership registers being filled. India’s waking up to being healthy and this means tons of gym memberships. This also means that when one takes a gym membership, the very next thing they do is head off to stores that deal in gym wear. The demand for gym wear and athleisure is growing in India because of a desire to stay fit and healthy. The reason for this is the growing health and wellness trend in India along with an increase in the number of sporting clubs, increased interest in sporting activities like football, basketball, tennis, badminton and cricket, because of which the Indian athleisure industry is growing strong. 

Requirements of an Athleisure Store

The minimum area required for an athleisure franchise outlet is around 1000 sq ft. with a minimum security deposit of 20 lakhs. The investment of a franchise for a brand’s stock will range from 15-25 lakhs, which will then in turn be sold for a 26-28% markup. The dead stock by the end of the season will be absorbed back by the company and the franchise will be refunded its amount. The average amount of interior expenditure tends to be 2800 per sq ft, hence for a 1000 sq ft store, the expenditure on interiors would range from 28-30 lakhs, including the cost of IT equipment. A store of a 1000 sq ft would require the manpower of 5 people, whose collective salaries would add up to 80,000 to 1 lakhs in a metro or tier-I city. The miscellaneous expenses of a store operating in this industry would range from 70-80,000 a month. Tallying these expenses an average athleisure store can earn monthly revenues of up to 8-12 lakhs, which means a break even in 6-8 months.

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