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running equipment in China

Running equipment in China

Running equipment in China

Overview of China’s sportswear market

running equipment in ChinaChina’s sportswear market has expanded rapidly in recent years, particularly so for footwear like cross-training shoes and apparel products. Since cross training shoes are very multi-functional and can be worn for a wide variety of sports such as walking, running, tennis and basketball, they become the largest contributor to industry growth of running equipment in China, followed by running and jogging shoes as the second largest contributor to the industry growth of running equipment in China due to the fact that running has been a popular sport in China and Chinese government’s strong support and promotion of sport programs for the public after 2008 Beijing Olympics. According to the statistics of China Textile Commerce Association Outdoor Branch(COCA), the gross retail sales revenue of sportswear equipment reached about Rmb 18.1 billion in 2013, compared to that of less than Rmb1 billion in 2004, rising up to an average annual growth of 40% over the past ten years. After 2010, China’s sportswear industry has changed its rapid expansion mode to a much mature stabilized growth pattern and the competition level of China’s sportswear industry has become more intensified and fierce since then. Among retail sportswear, apparel, shoes, backpacks, outdoor equipment and accessories are five major saleable products, and around 900 brands are engaging in the sportswear market, of which half are domestic and half are foreign.  The apparel product had been growing from 2006 to 2012 at a rate of 29%. According to the research report “China Athletic Apparel and Footwear Industry Outlook to 2017- Future Growth Led by Strong Positioning of Global Brands” by Ken Research, gross sales revenue of China’s apparel market would reach USD 32 billion by 2017, growing at a year on year rate of 17.2% from year 2013 due to escalating consumer interest in health and fitness activities which stimulates an increase in the number of sports and recreational facilities, fitness gyms in the country.

Key drivers to growth of running equipment in China

sportswear market in China

China’s GDP is still on the rise to sustain double-digit growth even though the Chinese government is trying to change the investment-led approach of economic development and balance out the economy. Boosting consumer spending is one of the stated priorities of the 12th five-year plan (2011-2015) for the Chinese economy, with the aim of rebalancing Chinese growth away from exports and investment. As a consequence, consumption growth has been stronger than GDP growth since 2012, which is a very unusual feature for the Chinese economy. Household consumption will also benefit from lower inequality in income distribution as minimum wages will grow faster than average wages. Estimated by Mckinsey, in the next two decades, the investment levels will be gradually moderated to make a balance of economy, and rising incomes will continuously cause China’s consumption share of GDP to rise to 41 percent by 2015, and to 45 percent by 2025.

Another driver is the upcoming new rich converted from large-scale urbanization and increasingly affluent middle-class consumers with rising income levels. China’s burgeoning middle class offers tremendous potential for businesses worldwide, especially for foreign companies who have entered into Chinese market or are planning to bring their presence into the market. The pace of change has been extraordinary, and newfound affluence also changes the way middle class behave in comparison with the past and leads to new behaviors in this group. The middle class population consists of mostly well-educated professionals generally with highly paid salary as well as relatively increasing workload and stressful working environments, especially in large cities. They tend to work longer hours and are eager to enjoy a healthy and balanced lifestyle, therefore the middle class’ focus has been evolving and shifted from chasing after money and social status to having fun, tasting life and engaging in more leisure experience, which makes an impact on their consumption behavior. They become more and more interested in outdoor activities, short trips and sports to relax, as a consequence, stimulating demand for sportswear such as running equipment in China. In fact, based on data provided by China Statistical yearbook in 2012, around 3 billion of Chinese people in 2012 were travelling domestically compared to 1.7 billion in 2008, rising up to an average annual growth of 15%. There were also some outdoor sports enthusiasts engaged in all kinds of outdoor activities of high physical demands, including hiking, long-distance walking and mountain biking during holidays.

Furthermore, the Chinese government has been supporting and promoting sports programs since the 2008 Beijing Olympics games, they are hosting international sports events such as Marathon and increasing number of runners and people are participating in which contributes to the industry development of running equipment in China.

Market trend in running equipment in China

Apparel, running and jogging shoes are among the major contributors to the industry growth of running equipment in China. There are various types of apparels and running, such as jackets, outdoor sports suits, fast drying clothes and socks, sunscreen hats, hiking shoes and other trail running shoes, and the basic selling points of brand products are their special features such as quick drying, wear resistance, UV resistance, waterproof, breathable, warm and light. Moreover, being fashion and casual to wear for weekend outing or travels are also considered a welcome feature among consumers. Emphasis on professionalism such as windproof or waterproof is also used by sportswear producers to distinguish their products from other competitors in the market of running equipment in China.

Daxue Consulting Expertise

Daxue Consulting can provide you support in entering the growing market of sportswear in China. We conduct all the market research and consulting services you may need, such as potential analysis, cost analysis, implementation feasibility etc. To know more about the Chinese sportswear market, do not hesitate to contact our dedicated project managers by email at