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Athletic Apparel: Holding Pattern

Athletic apparel sales seem to be in a holding pattern, though the Athletic Specialty channel is outperforming by a country mile.

- We’d best characterize Athletic Apparel sales – per data released today (per SportscanINFO) – as being in a holding pattern. On one hand, the week showed a 500bp acceleration in sales. That’s great, but we think that the 3-week trend is more relevant, and that did not budge much from numbers we’ve seen in prior weeks.

- There continues to be a notable divergence between channels, with the Athletic Specialty channel outperforminig by a country mile. The Mass and Family channels did not fare well at all. Good for Dick’s, Hibbett, Foot Locker, Finish Line, etc…

- Every major brand posted an increase in its week-to-week delta, including Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. Under Armour in particular is recovering nicely from a trough it hit 6-7 weeks back as it finally returned to positive sales growth. Adidas accelerated its upswing, which adds to its momentum in the US with Reebok toning footwear. Columbia and The North Face benefitted from strong outdoor category sales indicating the selling season for outerwear may be getting longer.

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