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Fashion is one of the most diverse facets of culture in most communities around the world, particularly as globalization increases. Wear pieces have evolved to include athletic trainers and sneakers in new fashion styles. This is where a large portion of Athletic Trainers and sneaker sales are made for lifestyle purposes rather than for use in sports. Because of unique driving forces in its culture, the United Kingdom is one of the main foreign markets for these emerging fashion brands worldwide. This report examines the UK Sneaker/Sports Trainer Market. Market Characteristics, Dimensions, and Segments
The UK Sneaker/Sports Trainers have recently become more acceptable in the fashion world. The Sports Trainers offer consumers comfort and a relaxed fashion style. A data research done by Mintel shows that 50 percent of the people in the UK who bought Sports Trainers, did not acquire them for athletic purposes (Mintel 1, 2016). Mintel’s research further states that 32 percent of the buyers would opt to purchase from sports retailers who are familiar with the current fashion trend (Mintel 1, 2016). Women also purchased more sneakers than heels in 2016. Mintel’s statistics show that 37 percent of women bought sports trainers while 33 percent bought heels (Mintel 1, 2016). Companies that make fashionable sports-inspired apparels and footwear have increased their annual sales in the UK. According to Euromonitor, sales Sports-Inspired Clothing grew by 6 percent in 2016. Euromonitor also found out that Sport-Inspired Footwear Market grew by 10 percent (Euromonitor International, 2017). The Sneakers/sports trainer market in the UK has seen tremendous growth over the years.
The UK Sneaker/Sports Trainer market has a wide variety of products for men, women, and children. The products come in different sizes, colors, and styles, giving the consumers a wide selection to choose from. The companies that produce the sneakers understand the current fashion trends and ensure that their products are comfortable and can be relaxed to different fashion stylings. The market is segmented according to the purpose of the footwear. There are products for everyday wearers who are looking for comfort and value for their money. The market has a segment for Elite Sports where consumers want products to be designed for a particular sport. There is also a segment for Fashion Sports Shoes where consumers purchase shoes because of their style and class. For social identity, consumers in this segment consider the brand name of the sneakers. The other market segments consider the consumers budget to ensure that there is a product for everyone.
The Sneaker/Sports Trainer Market in the United Kingdom is dominated by Nike and Adidas. Nike has the most significant market share, closely followed by Adidas which owns the Reebok Brand. Nike is the most significant footwear brand in the world and is holding the same position in the United Kingdom market. According to Euromonitor, Nike has been holding the most significant markets share in the UK for a long time. For instance, in 2012 it owned 18 percent of the market which has increased over the years to 21 percent in 2016 (Euromonitor International, 2017). Nike increased its revenue by 3.5 percent to 65.3 Million Euros in the same period (Euromonitor International, 2017). However, the company has experienced its slowest growth in sales in the 1st quarter of 2017. Adidas holds the second most significant share in the UK market with 17 percent increase its net sales in 2016. Puma, Converse, Asics, New balance, Slazenger, Lonsdale, Lacoste, Dunlop, K-Swiss, and Fila are the other top-ranked players in the market and offers competition to Adidas and Nike for the top positions in the UK Sneaker/Sports Trainer Market (Euromonitor International, 2017).
The companies engage in non-price competition. The combination of Adidas and Reebok brands make Adidas a powerful competitor for Nike. The corporations use creativity and innovation in the design and development of their brands to attract consumers. To increase their market share, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and Puma engage in endorsements with superstars and marketing campaigns to compete for the consumers’ attention. They use celebrities and influential people as brand ambassadors, for instance, Puma's brand ambassador is Rihanna. The companies also use web marketing and branding to ensure that they stay ahead of their competitors. Nike is facing intense competition from Adidas, but at the moment it is leading the market. However, to maintain its current market share, Nike will have to work extra hard to increase its sales and revenue. Moving with the current fashion trend will create new markets and maintain the existing consumers.
Several factors drive the Sneaker/Sports Trainer market in the UK including Fashion, Health, Celebrity Endorsements, Level of Competition, and Supply. Each factor contributes to the current state of the market differently.
Many people in the United Kingdom have adopted the fashion trend of dressing in gym attires as everyday apparels. Most people purchase sneakers to match their outfits. Sneakers have become the current fashionable footwear as evidenced by the research by Mintel, which showed that women buy more sneakers/sports trainers than heels (Mintel, 2016). Luxury fashion designers are coming up with sport-inspired fashion attires which require sports trainers to complete the look. People also want comfortable shoes that give them a classy and stylistic look. This has increased the demand for fashionable sneakers.
Many people are joining gyms or engaging in running activities. According to Morgan Stanley, the number of people engaging in running programs has increased by an average of 9 percent since 2005. Mintel research firm points out that 53 percent of consumers in the United Kingdom participate in sports with approximately 16 percent engaging in sports five times a week (Mintel, 2016). Most young people believe that exercising will keep them healthier with 28 percent of them exercising at least five times a week (Mintel, 2016). The growing interest in sports and fitness has led to increased sneaker sales.
Celebrity Endorsements have increased sales for the non-athletic footwear. Many people tend to purchase products that elevate their social identity by linking them to a particular brand or name. The additional bonus of celebrity endorsement, therefore, increases the social status associated with the specific brands.
The producers are competing with each other. This has led to massive investments in innovation and creativity, which has led to the production of sneakers that consumers are not able to resist. Each company is competing for the most significant share of the market, and by creating better products, they attract more consumers (Business Insider, 2014).
The companies have ensured that supply to consumers is fast and efficient by embracing technological innovations into the process. Online shopping has made it easy for all consumers to access the sports trainers of their choice without struggling. They have also opened many stores to access as many consumers as possible.
The market has many opportunities such as product development to accommodate the changing patterns of the industry. Producers should be innovative and follow the fashion trends as they change with time. The increased disposable income of the consumer, when compared to the previous decade, is an opportunity for the market players to increase their sales. The market is facing threats such as the manufacture of counterfeit products which resemble the original brands. The products are sold at a lower price than their original version, leading to a decline in sales of the authentic brand. Coming up with a solution to this problem can help increase their sales in the next ten years.
The UK market is fast paced to catch up with the global fashion trends. This is why the leading global brands are flocking the market. The health factors and aspects of comfort are secondary factors that support the growth of this market over the years. The market is growing and has the potential of extending this by allowing more brands to participate.
Business Insider, 2014, 4 Reasons Nikes Business Will Explode (online). Retrieved on 31st of October 2017 from www.businessinsider.in/4- Reasons-Nikes-Business-Will-Explode/articleshow/45265875.cms
Euromonitor International, 2017, Adidas group in Apparel and footwear. Retrieved on 31st of October 2017 from http://www.euromonitor.com/adidas-group-in-apparel-and-footwear/report
Euromonitor, 2017, Sportswear in the United Kingdom. Retrieved on 31st of October 2017 from http://www.euromonitor.com/sportswear-in-the-united-kingdom/report
Mintel 1, 2016, Fashionistas Cause Sales of Sports Wear to Sprint: UK Sports Goods Sales Estimated to Surpass 7 Billion Euros In 2016 (online). Retrieved on 31st of October 2017 from www.mintel.com/press-centre/retail-press-centre
Mintel, 2016, High Heels Take a Tumble: More Women Buy Trainers than High Heels for the First Time in 2016. Retrieved on 31st of October 2017 from http://www.mintel.com/press-centre/fashion/high-heels-take-a-tumble-more-women-buy-trainers-than-high-heels-for-the-first-time-in-2016
This report used a qualitative form of research to analyze the current market characteristics in the United Kingdom sneaker/ sports trainers market. The study examined past and present data to come up with the findings of the report. The study used data from Euromonitor and Mintel research firms. The United Kingdom Sneaker/ Sports Trainers' Market statistics were obtained from the two research firms, was analyzed, and observations were made in the report.
Data on fashion inspired consumers was obtained from Mintel. The research firm provided data on the percentage of consumers that purchase sports trainers. It also showed the consumers’ footwear preference and gave the percentage that bought sports-inspired footwear. The research firm gave the percentage of women that purchased heels compared to those that purchased sneakers. It also provided data on the portion of the population that engages in sports and their age groups. The data shows the number of times in the week that the community engages in sports or exercise.
The Euromonitor provided data on the percentage growth in sales and revenue. It also provided the past and present data about the UK sneaker market. The firm provided data on the current and past market shares held by the companies and their growth rates. Data from Morgan Stanley’s research paper shows the percentage growth of the number of people engaged in running programs since 2005. The data was used to identify the increase in demand for sports trainers in the United Kingdom Market.
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