The Chinese sportswear market is growing at 11 per cent. Sportswear is finding success where other types of apparel are beginning to struggle. While the athletic apparel market in China rose by 11 per cent in 2016, overall apparel grew at less than half that rate, with an increase of five per cent.
Gym membership in the country doubled since 2008, and the number of marathons rose from 51 in 2014 to over 100 just two years later. The country is also taking action to tackle the rising number of health problems such as obesity and diabetes, and has launched a five-year fitness plan that will make investments in sports and fitness facilities.
China’s demographics are positioning it as an excellent market for athletic goods. It has a population of 415 million millennials, as well as the world’s largest middle class. People with higher incomes tend to participate in more leisure activities, including sports, so this growing demographic of young workers with disposable income is providing a large market for active wear.
Active wear is increasingly becoming accepted as everyday clothing, including in the office and sometimes even at weddings.