Reporting a 12.7% increase in like-for-like sales for the year to April 2017, UK-based SuperGroup has defied the high street gloom to deliver strong results, supported by its rapid international expansion strategy. To continue this momentum, CEO Euan Sutherland is backing the continued demand for athleisure products to fuel growth.
Starting in Grenoble, France, the group will launch the first of its stand-alone Superdry Sport stores, with plans to add a further four shops by the end of 2017. Dismissing concerns of a bubble and market crowding, Mr Sutherland commented that "the growth predicted in the sports market is expected to exceed that of the mainline fashion market". Expanding on Superdry's current athleisure offering, Superdry Sport will focus on technical sportswear such as moisture-wicking fabrics and footwear.
The move is the latest example of retail players pushing into the booming athleisurewear market. Mr Sutherland dismissed concerns that the market was becoming too crowded and said that Superdry was focusing on the "more technical" areas of sports fashion, such as moisture wicking fabrics, and it would soon start selling trainers as well. "The growth predicted in the sports market is expected to exceed that of the mainline fashion market,", Mr Sutherland said. "We've already been in the athleisurewear market because of our sweatshirts, t-shirts and joggers, but we are now extending into more technical sportswear."