Sport is a retail engine
11.12.2014 18393

Sport is a retail engine

The fashion weeks in New York, Milan, London have once again convincingly proved the superiority of sports style. Sneakers and sneakers have become an integral part of fashion shows, street style and red carpet official events, it would seem, not related to sports. It is not surprising that the largest retail online store ASOS reports an unprecedented surge in interest in such models: sales of sports shoes increased by 900% compared to last year!

Sports shoes from the non grata model on fashion shows and in expensive restaurants have become a must-have for any person - from Hollywood stars of the first magnitude to fashion bloggers and small party-goers all over the world, and it is appropriate always and everywhere. Today sneakers can and should be combined with office pencil skirts and romantic flared dresses. Men easily slip on their favorite pair of sneakers under a classic suit or tuxedo.

It is impossible not to notice the increased interest in sports shoes even for a layman far from high fashion. The next summer season will only emphasize the exclusive leading position of this trend in fashion. Galina Kravchenko - Fashion Consulting Group development director, representative of the FashionSnoops international trend bureau in Russia and the CIS countries, confirms: sneakers and sneakers are not losing ground in the spring-summer 2015 season, many designers “put sneakers on the heels”, others have played with the design sneakers, creating sandals and boat models with a characteristic outline for sports shoes. Thus, the sports direction not only crowds other styles, but is also firmly woven into their flesh, changing the fashion DNA.

Today, only the lazy one doesn’t make money on sneakers: Chanel and Dior, Prada and Balenciaga create their own models. In 2010, the collaboration of the J. Crew brand with New Balance led to the creation of a suede version of the classic 1400 model, which became a hit and sold in retail almost instantly. And when Nike introduced its Flyknit model in 2012, the world of high fashion was overwhelmed and, it seems, forever opened its doors to strip-and-run paraphernalia.

As New York Times columnist Bill Cunningham noted, "fashionistas unanimously agreed that the most perfect winter boots are simple sneakers."

Last year's warm winter, it seems, convinced Russian consumers of the truthfulness and viability of the overseas trend - wedge sneakers and models with thick soles have become an excellent alternative to the usual boots and boots.

Moreover, the choice is huge - from affordable models no more than $ 100 to unique hand-made ones for $ 900 from Tom Ford.

So is it possible to make money on sports and who will win and who will lose in this competition for a prize - consumer money?

World records: history of creation

Do not forget that the sneakers are designed primarily for sports and go beyond what could be expected from ordinary shoes. Their advantages have become the subject of close attention, which was the result of the growing popularity of a healthy lifestyle among the world's population. As more and more people began to join sports and fitness, progress did not stand still and over the past 15 years there have been serious changes in the production of sports shoes.

It all began, as expected, on ancient Olympus, with sports competitions. True, then the runners competed exclusively barefoot. Later, the Romans decreed that their athletes would compete in sandals with thin leather soles. And for many years, leather remained the main material for the production of sports shoes. The first mention of footwear designed specifically for running dates back to 1852 when athletes in spiked soles entered the treadmill. The first sneakers in an approximate modern form were released in 1900. In this model, the main material was textiles, and the outsole was made of rubber. However, the textile model did not prove itself in the best way: the sneakers turned out to be not strong and short-lived, so leather returned to production as the most preferred material for sports shoes. But the models were still far from perfect: athletes were forced to look for additional protection for their feet, as the sneakers rubbed their toes mercilessly, and the shock absorption properties were still frankly weak. At the time, the Scotsman, known in sports circles as "Old Man" Richings, redesigned the shoe with a seamless toe cap (a piece of rubber material running from the sole to the toe to protect the toes from rubbing).

And in 1925, the German shoemaker Adolf Dassler decided to focus on the production of sports shoes and, together with his brother Rudolph, founded the Dasslers company. For their time, the models released under the strict guidance of the business duo were a real breakthrough: the sneakers provided support for the arched arch of the foot, and the special lacing allowed them to sit precisely on the leg and correctly fix the ankle. The shoes were appreciated by famous athletes. So, the model from Dasslers was chosen for his performance at the 1936 Olympics by the American athlete and four-time Olympic champion Jesse Owens. A little later, the brothers parted ways, and each of them founded his own company: Adolf - Adidas, and Rudolph - Puma.

In the middle of the 60th century, another manufacturer entered the sports footwear market - Hyde Athletic. Coming from a family of Russian immigrants, Abraham Hyde founded a shoe store in Cambridge. In the late XNUMXs, Hyde Athletic Industries acquired the rights to Saucony and became the official footwear supplier to the global market. Their most successful shoe brand was the Saucony Jazz running shoe.

At the same time, New Balance began active expansion into the international market. It is not just releasing the next batch of sneakers, but starting a global study of the work of the foot during movement and developing an orthopedic sneaker with a grooved sole and a wedge-shaped instep in the heel region to absorb shock while running. The demand for footwear that can prevent injury is growing exponentially. At the same time, interest is growing in lightweight models made of nylon, a fabric developed during the Great Patriotic War.

Today, the comfort of running shoes is not only known to runners. They have long migrated from the "sport" section to the "comfort" line. In 1990, consumers spent $ 645 million on 15 million pairs of sneakers, and experts estimate that most shoppers purchased them for everyday wear, not for class.

Production Process: Design and Functionality

Over the past 15 years, we have seen great changes in the design of sneakers, which are now available in all styles and colors. Modern shoe designers have focused on the study of anatomy and foot movement. Pronation (the phase of rolling the foot after hitting the ground) and supination (the phase of pushing) form the basis of the structure, facilitating movement and adding acceleration.

A sneaker can have up to 20 parts, and sewing sports shoes is a laborious process. Each phase of production requires precision and skill, and lower costs automatically lead to a loss of quality. Hence the rather high retail price for a pair: the pursuit of cheapness will turn into injury in sports and discomfort in everyday life.

Sneakers are made from a combination of materials. Insoles of modern models are made, as a rule, of artificial material ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). The midsole consists of polyurethane or polyurethane foam surrounding another material, such as gel or liquid silicone. In some cases, polyurethane may surround compressed air capsules. The outsole is usually made of carbon rubber. The top of the shoe is made of the latest synthetic materials, such as nylon or faux suede. As well as plastic parts designed to maintain the shape of the shoe. The soles and tops are fastened with modern adhesives that are not inferior to cement in properties.

Forward to the future: market innovation

New technologies, unique design, unusual appearance ... Today the sports footwear industry is experiencing a real boom. Leading manufacturing companies report on new developments with enviable regularity: every season brings with it another breakthrough. Companies working in the field of space technologies are involved in the development. For example, two years ago Nike introduced the patented Flyknit technology. The entire upper of the sneaker is a one-piece braided piece without seams, the only piece sewn on is the tongue. Accordingly, all characteristics - flexibility, breathability, rigidity - are set by the density and manner of weaving.

Almost simultaneously with the competitor, adidas introduced the new BOOST ™ technology. The result of collaboration with the chemical concern BASF is a sole made of a highly resilient material that retains its properties both in cold and hot weather.

In the near future, according to experts, the development of sports equipment will follow the path of updating and improving current designs and production processes, radical breakthroughs should not be expected. Designers will continue to look for lighter materials that provide better support and stability of the foot, will continue experiments with the use of gel and air systems in the soles.

One should expect new innovations in the field of introducing electronic components into sneakers: steps capable of tracking the level of physical activity, as well as lighting systems that ensure the safety of runners in the evening.

However, sports brands are not only pleased with new products, but also, using a wave of sneakersomania for their own benefit, revive old models. A small edition, a well-thought-out advertising campaign, and on the first day of sales, long lines of customers line up at the doors of stores, ready to give a couple of hundred dollars for a pair of sneakers invented back in the 60's.

So, the model Smith Smith revived by adidas made fashion shows of New York Fashion Week: orange and white models of the cult brand flashed explosively in the crowd of bloggers, stars and stylists.

The interest in replicas is understandable. “In the 60s, sports shoes first appeared on the streets of cities, and it was a real revolution in consciousness. This wave of freedom gave birth to a new generation of people who proclaimed independence as the main value of humanity. The classic construction of the model makes it clear that this is a sneaker in its original version. You are holding in your hands the model that started the revolution in the consciousness of millions of people, ”explains Galina Kravchenko.

Russian records: the domestic market for sports shoes

The craving for a healthy lifestyle, aggravated by the deteriorating ecosystem, has led to an increase in interest in sports brands in Russia. According to BusinesStat, the Russian sports shoe market is showing steady growth. According to the consulting company Esper Group, the market for sportswear and footwear in Russia in 2013 grew by 7,3% compared to 2012 and was valued at 4,42 billion dollars. Five companies are the sales leaders in Russia, with 65 market share : Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Puma and Bosco.

Against the backdrop of a decline in retail trade at the end of 2013 and stagnation at the beginning of 2014, the Sporting Goods category demonstrated unique growth, remaining the leader in non-food retail at the end of 2013 with an increase of 18,8% y / y.

Outstripping revenue growth is associated with higher prices for sports shoes and the recent shift in consumer preferences towards a higher price segment. Most of the sales of sports shoes are currently in the mid-low and mid-mid-price segments. These two segments are the most dynamic; shoe sales here are growing rapidly due to a shift in consumer preferences.

The share of shoes in the total volume of goods for sports and active lifestyle accounts for 22,5%. In addition to the leading companies identified above, Columbia Sportswear, Sprandi, Kappa, Kangaroos, Mizuno are presenting their products on the Russian market.

The Chinese manufacturer of sportswear and footwear ANTA Sports threatens to compete with them in the Russian market. In the middle of this year, the company officially entered the Russian market, opening its representative office in the country. The first store is already operating in Sochi. In total, by the end of 2015, the company plans to open about 70 mono-brand stores and enter the leading multi-brand networks of the country with its products. It is worth noting that dozens of famous athletes are partners of the Chinese manufacturer around the world, including NBA player Kevin Garnett. Recognition of champions best of all characterizes the quality of shoes, which, by the way, are much cheaper than competing models. “The advantage of our products is excellent quality at a low price,” says Viktor Schmidt, board member of ANTA RUS.

The main markets for sports products in Russia are undoubtedly two capitals - Moscow and St. Petersburg. In Moscow, the share of consumers of sportswear and footwear is higher than in the regions, and this primarily concerns expensive branded products.

The share of spending on sporting goods among Russian buyers is constantly increasing and amounts to about $ 50 annually. In Moscow this figure is much higher - $ 150-200. According to market research conducted in mid-2013, more than a third of buyers are willing to change brands if they are offered a better price; a fifth of buyers are ready to refuse to buy a certain brand for the sake of quality, and the same number - for the sake of convenience and functionality. Few rank design first in importance.

Office is like a gym: active retail lines

While consumers continue to spend millions on sneakers and sneakers, casual shoe manufacturers will continue to fight for these dollars and rubles, applying the principles of designing sports models for their products.

Sports shoes overshadow the heels, and staying away from the general trend means losing customer loyalty and, as a result, recording a decrease in conversion and profit.

But it's not worth chasing the sales and popularity of sports brands. “It is important to understand how sports shoes differ from non-sports shoes. In the latter, all the constructives typical for sneakers are preserved - puffy edges, toe caps, thickened tongues, profiled sole. However, in the sports segment, there is a clear constructive division of footwear by type of activity (models for running, tennis or aerobics), which allows protecting the foot from deformation and injury, says Galina Kravchenko. - These models are developed taking into account all the smallest nuances of the foot movement under a particular load, and the cushioning in them is very precisely calculated for a certain pressure force, so they are not very suitable for everyday wear. The budgets, management technologies, opportunities for developing the range of sports brands are large-scale, and therefore it is impossible to compete with them on the same plane. But we know that in the fashion market there is always an opportunity to attract the consumer. And here you need to clearly understand your strengths. Loyalty in the shoe business is very high: if a customer comes to your store from season to season, he will be ready to buy a new model from you. Try to offer him boots with new sneaker constructions, for sure he will appreciate them. "

According to Irina Zueva, marketing director of the Econika shoe chain, sports models of shoe manufacturers and sellers have a number of advantages over professional footwear brands. “Sports brands are still associated with sports or active pursuits; when a sports model appears in the collection of an unsportsmanlike brand that skillfully adds some signature element, customers react to it. After all, what is unusual about the sport-chic trend is to make the usual sports model more elegant and unusual, add bright details so that it can be combined with everyday outfits and make the right accents. "

In the active or sport-casual lines, the appearance of the sports model is completely copied. But the sports trend in this case is transformed: the bright colors are replaced by the basic ones - black, beige, brown, white. This allows the shoe to match any wardrobe.

We expand the assortment

Shoes with sports elements have been in the assortment of some brands for more than seven years. Moreover, models of similar design are the basis of the collections of such brands as Ecco, Ergo, Ralf Ringer. “But today a healthy lifestyle is a social trend, and following it, shoe design is starting to move more from classic casual to sport. The seasons spring-summer 2015 and autumn-winter 2015/16 will not be an exception. Sports models will continue to expand their collections. It is worth noting that this is a long trend, growing from season to season. And now it is just reaching its peak of popularity, ”comments Galina Kravchenko. Such models prevail in women's collections, and this numerical "advantage" will remain in future seasons. In sports lines, the models will be supplemented with bright details that accurately define their style: these are long tongues, Velcro, massive buckles instead of laces, contrasting soles, additional inscriptions, plastic fittings, oval inserts in the toe. Such elements will more and more transform classic shoes.

Is it advisable to add models of this style to the assortment of your store? According to Galina Kravchenko, this should be done selectively. “If your store's assortment is based on classic and evening pieces, then sportswear will not fit into this range. If we are talking about casual or business-casual stores, then, of course, sneakers should be in their assortment. Their share should increase due to the expansion of the model range, colors, due to the appearance of models on a wedge heel or a raised sole. But here it is important not to go too far: if the backbone of your target audience is young people, you can easily add a new trend to the assortment, since these consumers have already appreciated the convenience and style of such models and have begun to actively buy them. But consumers of the older generation are only looking at these shoes. When betting on this age group, it is worth putting only a couple of sports models in the seasonal line. The growth of new models should be gradual, increasing by no more than 5%, this will help to reduce the risks when purchasing new models to a minimum.

The opinion of market professionals

Alexander Sarychev, Director of ZENDEN retail chain:

«In the collections of the brand, of course, there are sports shoe models. This is a separate line of ZENDEN Active sneakers designed for sports and outdoor activities. The share of sports shoes in the total range of ZENDEN is still low, no more than 10%, but it is promising and in demand.

The main buyer of ZENDEN Active is young people, therefore, when developing a sports line, considerable attention is paid not only to the comfort of the models, but also to the design and color scheme. We constantly study our target audience, its behavior and needs, first of all, ZENDEN Active attracts with its price-quality ratio. We rely on comfortable semi-sports casual models with increased fullness and comfortable insoles.

Shoe companies are not yet competing with global sports brands. The manufacturing technologies of these giants are unique and focused on the production of sports footwear in a specific price range. These are really high-quality footwear, but not every Russian needs unique sports technologies at a high cost if the model is purchased for everyday wear. "

Anna Demurova, PR manager of TMHF Group:

“The trend for sneakers, in our opinion, is a consequence of one chain -“ casualization of fashion ”and shoe style in particular. Please note: there is not a single retailer left who would not present sleepers, t-shirts, sneakers or deserts this year. And when we first brought this Tommy Hilfiger collection back in 2005, we were told it was an unjustified risk. However, sales of the sports, casual range of the Soho chain confirmed this trend. Sports lines are not limited to sneakers only. So, the Clarks company is working deeper in this direction, making, in addition to updating the collection of the Originals sub-brand, a large number of collaborations with famous projects and musicians. The brand takes a very responsible approach to the study of demand. So, 2 years ago, the company found out the opinion of trendsetters that in addition to active, designer and comfortable footwear, it should also be recognizable, with a bright and active heritage. More and more buyers make a choice in favor of a name and a brand, which is backed by a close reputation and image. Thus, joint projects were born with the legendary motorcycle designer Norton, the famous Chanel tweed factory - Linton Tweed, the famous graffiti community Patternity, the musician Doom and the designer Orla Keily. The brand is renewed, finds new solutions and audience, and constantly “lives”. If we talk about forecasts, then the dynamics, in our opinion, simply restored the balance between fashion and comfort by joining forces. And if earlier comfort was perceived as something age-related, now no one wants to sacrifice it, so the one who can find this balance will win.

In general, we see an active change in traditions and their erosion, more and more ideas and fewer stereotypes - this is good news. "

Irina Zueva, Marketing Director, Econika women's shoe chain:

“In the collections of the Econika brand of previous seasons, there were undoubtedly sports-style models, but their share in the total assortment was not as significant as in the fall-winter 2014/2015 season. This is due primarily to the incredible relevance of the active trend, or the so-called sport chic. “What is natural is beautiful” - perhaps today this is the only trend that all guests of fashion shows, fashion bloggers, stylists, it-girls and fashionistas around the world are ready to follow. When creating our collection, we naturally listen to the latest fashion trends from world catwalks, involve professional stylists and fashion consultants in our work, but we will certainly adapt all the information received to the preferences of Russian women.

The trend for comfortable sports shoes that can be worn both in a feast and in the world is now at the peak of popularity. That is why this season we have paid special attention to sports models, increasing their number in the collection and separating them into a separate thematic capsule. We tried to add some zest to these models: in our sneakers, for example, we have a military print or inserts for colored python leather, some pairs were warmed, added fur - thus, we allowed fashionistas to walk in comfortable and fashionable shoes of the season even in cold weather ...

We believe that the active style models in our collection will appeal to girls who follow fashion trends and make bows inspired by street style looks. I think that the main buyers of the active line today are the early followers of fashion trends.

It's not the first season that sneakers are new boats, and sweatpants or tracksuits are new trousers. True, before the desire for comfort was one of the many trends, but now it is almost an ultimatum.

I think this trend will not lose its relevance for a few more seasons. But it will gradually transform. The next step - normcore - as a deliberate course towards fashionable mediocrity. Dressing like everyone else does not mean being like everyone else. The main thing is not things, but the soul. Judging by the latest fashion shows and exhibitions, this trend will gain momentum.

Already now we can draw conclusions about which models are popular. Those that have a twist - either an interesting finish, some unusual detail, or even fur inside a pair of sneakers - are of interest to buyers.

We tried to add interesting details to the model, to make them of leather, which affects the quality. As always, our focus is on convenience pads. We also insulated some sports models with either insoles or all-natural fur. This makes these models stand out and makes them attractive to customers, as they can wear their favorite pair of comfortable sneakers or sneakers even in frosty weather.

According to various estimates, the global market for sporting goods ranges from 67 to 100 billion dollars.

The Russian market for sporting goods ranges from 600 million to 4 billion dollars. The dominant position is occupied by large international companies.

In the Russian market, the share of Chinese-made goods is up to 70%, European - 15%, Russian-made sports goods also account for 10-15% of the market.

Russians spend on sporting goods from 50 to 200 dollars annually.

The fashion weeks in New York, Milan, London have once again convincingly proved the superiority of sports style. Sneakers and sneakers have become an integral part of fashion shows, street style ...
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