With government backing, the ‘Action Plan’ established in 2014 it has had a massive impact on the sports market in China, initiated from the ground root up through education, the concepts is to get the massive 1.3 billion plus population moving and shaking, and it is working. ISPO SHANGHAI leads the way in the sports field with the second Shanghai show, which had a 32 per cent increase in exhibitors compared to last year. As well as the premiere of ISPO TEXTRENDS forum highlighting the latest developments for Spring/Summer 2018.
According to figures from the Shanghai Sports Bureau, 47 per cent of Chinese people did more exercise in 2015 than the year before. With potential figures announced by the Shanghai Sports Bureau that the sports market is set to be worth 5 trillion Chinese Yuan (CNY) approximately 674 billion Euros in 2025, how can this market be ignored?
Chinese consumers are equating exercise with a healthy lifestyle
Just driving through Shanghai you can see an explosion of membership gyms and in the parks, not just the traditional elegance of group Tai Chi being executed, you see a flash of neon and colors as running has become the number one activity for men and women. The running phenomenon isn’t just down to the exercise factor, it is also clear from the amount of apps available, that in a nation where digital know-how is common place, the social sharing of performance from your run shared in social media has some clout too as well as the huge growth in running clubs.
It isn’t just for the male consumer, women too are getting in on the act. The fastest growing sports in China are running, yoga, gym and badminton through to outdoor hiking. For consumers the association with living a healthier lifestyle is becoming ‘de rigueur’ especially in the major cities.
Homegrown brands with huge followings
The leaders of the sports world have established themselves in the China market on the retail front, from Nike, Under Armour to Arc’Teryx, Gap and H&M, but there is a kudos related to them, being international brands and also a premium price. Take into account that Shanghai has the highest paid salaries in China with the average monthly salary for a professional just over 10,000 CNY (1,346 Euros) it also has the highest living expenses, and with a running tip and tights from Under Armour retailing at 1,000 CNY (134 Euros) it isn’t difficult to work the maths or view the potential.
Walking ISPO SHANGHAI, both international and national sports brands are competing for business. The fact of the matter is that with the Chinese market, there is room for everyone at all different levels. In the past brands, international brands would have stood out amongst the domestic brands, but times are changing and the domestic brands have improved their design and fabric qualities in creating some very good collections. Domestic brands to stand out at ISPO SHANGHAI the Chinese brands are coming up well on the design front including Kelme, LP and SOA for both and women.
The growth of the China brands, the leading ones being Li Ning, Anta, Peak and Erke also all have the advantage of extensive distribution in the country to all tier cities, from first to third tier cities. The design development and enhanced development on the apparel front is good news for fabric suppliers as design teams are increasingly sourcing globally for high performance products.
Key trends coming through included UV protection, cooling fabrics and the continuing trend for lightweight qualities. To view all the selected products that featured in the ISPO TEXTRENDS forum at ISPO SHANGHAI can download the app, free of charge from iTunes.