Structure and evolution of the sports market
In France, the sports market is estimated about 9,1 billion euros in 2009. Currently, it experiences difficulties to revive with growth. The market is made up of sportswear, sports footwear and various accessories in order to use sports equipment. The purchases in sports items are realized at 70% for leisure activities. In this way, our customers have the choice between two divisions: sport performance and sport style. The sport performance division develops sports products, focused on running, football, basketball, tennis and training and the sport style division is focused on fashion-conscious consumers and includes collections like the 'Y-3' designed by Yohji Yamamoto, a Japanese fashion designer based in Tokyo and Paris. On the market, the customers are increasingly looking for the brand and the style of the product, which are strong factors in the purchasing act. They expect novelty: in the design of the product but also in the using materials. The number of sport members is in a slight increase, they are about 17 million in 2009, according to INSEE data.
Those last years, new trends are rising; such as the identification process to sport celebrities that can also influence the purchasing act.
Sportswear purchases are realized by 40% of women who are looking for clothes adapted to their expectations, their morphology and the activity who are practicing, according to a NPD group study. Their purchases in sportswear represent 7,1% of the total sales of women’s outwear in 2008 and it is quite regular since 2003. These women have a precise profile: they are city dwellers, living in majority in big cities; working girls at least 25 years old and practicing sport 2 or 3 times per week. Most of the time, they practice sport to keep fit and leisure activities. They want to keep style in doing that, contrary to men who practice sport for the competition spirit and the will to surpass themselves.
2. Competitive environment
The substitute products of the Adidas feminine apparel are all feminine apparels that are not sportswear present on the market. Indeed, if we consider that women buy sportswear for their leisure activities, the expanded competition takes into account all the other clothes used in these moments. Those substitutes are casual clothes, which are comfortable but not sportswear. Adidas counts in its indirect competitors Zara or H&M, which offer casual clothes for leisure activities. In this way, the brand experiences more and more competition. Some brands such as Gap, Esprit, Roxy, Comptoir des Cotonniers or Abercrombie and Fitch (soon available in France) develop their collection in a sportswear range. Those brands propose real “fashion-products” which are meeting customer’s needs in style and comfort.
We are working in an oligopoly situation where our main competitors are Nike and Puma, especially the first one whose we are focusing on. Nike has a strong brand image in customers’ spirit and it is our former main competitor. It is present over all the different sectors of sport: its products are various and numerous, designed for all targets in the market. Nike offers sports apparel and accessories for athletic activities such as running, training, basketball, soccer, golf, baseball, football and bicycling and also swimming, fitness or yoga, intended to women. Nike's apparel product line includes sports-inspired lifestyle apparel, athletic bags and other accessory items. The company is centred on technologic innovation, performance, design and a variety of choices. The brand has opened the first Nikewomen store, a space entirely dedicated to women’s sport accessories, in Paris in 2007. Nike pays a lot of attention to its communication with women. In 2009, the brand realised an advertising campaign called “Here I am” in order to encourage women to surpass...