A Dynamic and Evolving Sports Retail Market


Marc Magliacano

Marc Magliacano

Marc Magliacano is an accomplished private equity executive who seeks out opportunistic investment positions in growth-oriented consumer and retail companies. Having invested in broad fitness and wellness categories, Marc Magliacano and his team maintain a close watch on consumer trends in these dynamic and evolving sectors.

A March 2018 Retail Dive article brought focus to a sports retail market that presents a mixed landscape. A major growth driver is the so-called athleisure trend, which is driven by a desire of consumers, particularly in younger demographics, to appear healthy and fit. Apparel in this category includes versatile and comfortable clothing, as well as casual footwear that transcends its original sports uses. A marquee example of this functionality-meets-fashion approach is the venerable Nike brand Air Jordan, with a new release this year selling out on Snapchat in less than half an hour.

Success stories include companies that have created sportswear brands that transcend traditional categorization, such as Outdoor Voices. Having expanded to a half dozen physical stores, the activewear company is unique in seeking to create a customer-focused community utilizing social media and other emerging platforms. It is also known for its responsiveness to customer suggestions in terms of future products.

One trend that casts a shadow on the industry is the continued growth of Amazon as an online shopping destination visited by more than 50 percent of online apparel consumers. Amazon’s private labels have successfully eroded other companies’ market shares simply by imitating many of the most popular items offered on its site.