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Sporting goods in the United Kingdom (UK)

From footwear to outdoor apparel, leisurewear to fitness equipment - the sports market has been enjoying surging shares globally. The sports and leisure goods industry in the United Kingdom (UK) was not exempt from this global trend either. After years of fluctuating numbers particularly between 2011 and 2016, retail turnover peaked in 2017, before returning to a more normal range in the following year.

Sports goods retail has an impressive presence in the UK apparel market. In fact, two of the most ambitious names in UK retail are in sports fashion: JD Sports and Sports Direct. Over the past decade, Sports Direct more than doubled its group revenue and grew its profits to over 1.5 billion British pounds. JD Sports’ transformation from a sportswear retailer to a multi-brand company with high profile sports sponsorships has been even more dramatic. As of 2020, the company’s annual group revenue peaked at 6.1 British pounds. This figure was below the billion threshold only in 2011. In the meantime, both companies expanded their impact on British high streets with a number of acquisitions of other sports and fashion brands which were struggling financially.

It would be fair to say that shoes and sneakers are the crown jewels of the sporting goods industry. Recent consumer surveys revealed that when it comes to sneakers, the UK had a penchant for Adidas and Nike. While the two global giants of sportswear were cherished over other sports shoes brands, Adidas was also a popular consumer choice for the brand’s personal care products. Consumer spending behaviour as traced by the Office for National Statistics also showed that increasingly more and more people were buying sports goods and clothings via online channels. When it comes to consumer prices, 2019 marked an especially heightened inflation in the annual average price of sports equipment.

The UK sports retail market is an arena for harsh competition both for global brands and the homegrown retailers that sell them. But what about the manufacture of sports goods? UK manufacturers have had somewhat stagnant sales numbers in the past decade. Throughout this period, sales were at their lowest in 2008, at 293 million British pounds, and at their highest in 2019, at 414 million British pounds. In between, sales of manufactured sports goods fluctuated from year to year.



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Sporting goods in the United Kingdom (UK)

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Sportswear and sports equipment retail

Sports retail brands

Consumer behavior

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