Sports and athleisure trend to power most West End brands by 2020
Ahead of the London marathon this weekend, the company representing over 600 West End businesses has found continued consumer interest in both participating and attending sports events, and rising property demand from sportswear retailers.
Indeed, the number of sports brands occupying the key shopping streets in the West End has increased by 100% between 2016 and last year. And more fashion brands are jumping on the bandwagon with their own athleisure ranges or collaborations with sports brands, like Victoria Beckham teaming up with Reebok.
Meanwhile, in-store cocktails and beauty events are being replaced with yoga sessions at Lululemon, hiking-inspired classes at the North Face, HIIT exercise classes at John Lewis, and even a fully equipped in-store boxing gym at Selfridges.
“As one of the world’s top shopping and leisure destinations, brands use their prime location in the West End to showcase new lines and offer unique experiences for customers. Over the past few years, we have seen a number of department stores and fashion retailers introduce new sportswear ranges alongside their core fashion collections and create sports-related experiences in store for visitors to take part in,” commented Kyle Monk, head of insights at New West End Company.
“As the line between athletic and leisurewear becomes hazier, we expect retailers will dedicate an increasing amount of floorspace to some form of athletic offering. The opportunity for brands to innovate in this sector is huge.”
Asics, Lululemon, Champion and Canada Goose are some of the sportswear brands that have opened stores in the area over the last two years.
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