2016 saw trends like “athleisure” continue to be the media darling in footwear and apparel, social impact and sustainability affect purchasing decisions more than ever, a substantial incorporation of technology in product design and the pleasantly surprising re-introduction of brick and mortar retail, among others.
As the calendar turns to 2017, forward-thinking brands (big and small) look to align with emerging industry trends to identify evolving consumer interests – how best to reach consumers who are constantly altering how they consume information.
As we head into the trade show season, CGPR compiled a look at active lifestyle industry trends expected for the coming year. If you are a CEO or a brand manager, the challenge of how best to engage and stay connected with consumers will continue to keep you up late at night. If you are consumer, you created this monster; we hope you enjoy it. Happy reading.
Happy New Year.
“Ath-Loungewear” and Athleisure Everything
Companies will prioritize the lifestyle aspect of athleisure over performance. Lifestyle brands will become more active-oriented and the footwear and apparel industry will become increasingly casual, inviting people to wear “pajamas as weekend wear.” (From Vamp Footwear and Retail Dive )
Sustainability in outerwear continues
Brands and consumers will increase their focus on sustainability. Apparel companies will continue to incorporate sustainable, environmentally friendly materials in products, implementing eco-friendly business practices to satisfy modern consumers who place a greater priority on purchasing products that are sustainably sourced. (From Gear Junkie)
The 80’s are back, again
The 1980’s will make a comeback in fashion and the outdoors, representing a general resurgence of micro and retro trends. “Everything from power suits and slouchy tailored trousers for office wear, through to off-the-shoulder looks, active wear and [over-the-top] ruffles” are expected to return this year. (From Fashionista)
Footwear designs modernize, industry sees growth
Footwear brands like Adidas and Nike dove into 3D printing in 2016 and are expected to build upon that foundation, alongside the continuation of athleisure and seamless designs. According to The Wall Street Journal, despite footwear comprising of only six percent of the luxury market, shoe sales are expected to grow five percent annually over the next five years. Medium and large footwear brands will also increase their focus on the online shopping experience to align with consumer purchasing trends. (From Vamp Footwear)
Resurgence of brick and mortar, buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS)
The holidays saw healthy increases in purchasing. Consumers are researching and purchasing online and picking up in store. These methods of buying contribute to continued traffic and sales at brick and mortar retail. Consumers are showing more trust in fit when online shopping for footwear and apparel in 2017, but want to physically pick up their purchases – just to get out of the house? (From Forbes) Macy’s maybe shuttering stores but Fabletics is doubling its brick and mortar locations.
Where a product is born and its authenticity matter “Country of origin is going to be right there with the nameplate.” There is an uptick in consumer interest for where products are made, reflecting trends in social impact and sustainability. Brands will showcase convey product origin through marketing communications to connect with those consumers to tell more of a “DNA” story. (From Footwear News)
Shopping will become even more experiential
To combat the increase in online shopping, retailers are strategizing creative ways to engage consumers in-store. Brands will focus on aligning with the digital experience, such as personalized purchasing, enhanced digital customer service options and increasing visibility across social media channels to connect with consumers in multiple environments. “Apple has already banished the store in favor of its new town square retail concept, and fashion brands are paying close attention.” (From Billboard)
Subscription services market ripe for the taking
With an increase in personalized digital experiences, enhanced mobile devices and modern consumers becoming more leisurely when purchasing online, the number of tailored subscription services for style items has begun to rise. Growth is expected as the market is relatively untapped. Brands like Five Four Club and Stich Fix saw slow but consistent growth in 2016. (From Retail Dive)