Athletic Apparel sales continue to show strength following a 3-week streak of negative growth in early March. Underlying trends accelerated across all channels driven by pricing.
The industry is facing increasingly difficult top-line compares through May as we indicated last week ("Athletic Apparel: Underlying Trends Improving"). While last week’s +7% sales growth in the athletic specialty channel reflected a 20bps sequential deceleration vs. the week prior, the 2-year blended rate improved. Pricing continues to be the primary driver within the athletic specialty channel up +4.3% and +4.6% respectively outpacing unit growth with both posting positive results each of the last two weeks. While yy unit compares have been down over the past 5-weeks, next week marks an inflection point where comps become more favorable at the same time pricing compares get tougher.
NKE led the industry in market share gains last week +453bps with sales up +18.1% on higher ASPs up +10.3%. Over the last 12 months, industry data suggests Nike holds 34% share of the overall athletic apparel market. As a result, Nike’s growth contributed about 6pts to the 4.3% overall growth we saw last week while most brands and the balance of the industry contracted (ADI -0.4%, Columbia -1.3%, UA -0.9%).