Fashion brands look to sportswear to boost sales

Fashion brands H&M and Primark are focusing on sportswear in a bid to tap into new year fitness trends and take a slice of the growing sportswear market. 

H&M is launching a new sportswear collection.

H&M has made a big push into the sports market, extending its fitness line to include a tennis collection and clothes for dance, running, yoga and outdoors sports. The lines have been tested by the Swedish Olympic athletes as the retailer looks to prove its sports clothing is functional as well as fashionable.

The Swedish Olympic team will be wearing a special collection at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics next month and be training and competing in outfits designed by H&M for sports such as figure skating and curling. H&M is also dressing Swedish athletes at the summer Olympics in 2016 as part of its plans to improve its sports clothing.

“[New collection] Go Gold is the chance for our customers to get the Olympian look, inspired by the outfits created by H&M in collaboration with the Swedish Olympic team. The pieces are not just functional, they’re fashionable too,” says H&M’s creative head of design, Ann-Sofie Johansson.

Primark has also kicked off the new year with a marketing campaign to promote its ‘Workout’ product range. New store windows, in-store point-of-sale and a video that will be shown in its stores will showcase its active range, which includes new lines such as “by Admiral” and “by Technolayer”.

This is set to be a big year for sports, with fashion brands vying with performance sportswear firms such as Nike and Adidas to exploit events including the Winter Olympics and World Cup. Nike is planning an “unprecedented” level of marketing this year as it looks to build on an 8 per cent sales rise in its latest quarter, while Adidas is hoping a revamp of its retail marketing will set it up for growth in 2014.

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