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Resolving to Get New Workout Wear

The New Year usually brings with it a slew of diet and fitness resolutions.  Along with new workout routines often comes new workout wear and gear.  In today’s Insight Flash, we take advantage of the basket-level detail provided by our CE Receipt data to examine how January online sales for companies selling these products usually compare to the rest of the year, and how January-to-date is tracking so far.  

Market share for athletic companies shows sizable variation throughout the year.  Although Lululemon does tend to see a rise in online market share for the holiday season, this has spiked in January 2019, 2020, and 2021 as shoppers look to look good for their New Year’s resolutions.  Eight days into 2022, this trend is continuing with a 40% online market share to start off the year.  This may imply recently discussed weakness is more due to industry dynamics than Lululemon’s positioning.  Nike is right behind with one third of online spend among our tracked universe, although the 2022 trend is following the past two years where this was a smaller share than during the holidays.  Notably, in 2020 and 2021 the company did recover online share in February as resolutions waned. 

Online Market Share

Note: % of spend for listed brands only; January 2022 data through 1/8/22; direct-to-consumer sales from each company only

It seems like even the shoppers themselves know that their new fitness regimes are unlikely to last long – average items per online order tend to be inline with or lower than the rest of the year.  Lululemon is seeing the highest items per transaction so far in January, but this is only two items.  Throughout the year, Puma tends to be the leader in this metric, going as high as 2.4 items per transaction in June and November 2021.

Online Items per Transaction

Note: January 2022 data through 1/8/22; direct-to-consumer sales from each company only

When it comes to spend per item, Foot Locker’s concentration in sneakers versus less pricey apparel or accessories gives it the highest purchase price online.  So far this January, the average ticket of $84 is slightly higher than Nike’s $80.  Hibbett’s average price is about 20% lower than Nike’s at $68, and about 10% higher than Lululemon’s at $62.  Dick’s has the lowest price per item at only $34, but also has the most varied assortment.

Online Spend per Item

Note: January 2022 data through 1/8/22; direct-to-consumer sales from each company only

Given Lululemon has the highest January 2022 online spend share and items per transaction among tracked athletic brands, it is natural to wonder how different that basket is from the rest of the year.  Our CE Web dataset gives visibility into the breakdown of purchases online and offline worldwide.  Women’s gear tends to be the major seller in the US at 50-60% of tracked sales every month of 2021, and 56% in the first half of January.  The Men’s business tends to be a slightly higher percentage than usual in December for the holiday season, but dipped back in January 2021 and so far in 2022.  Other items such as bags and gear have decreased in popularity since 2020.

Lululemon Basket Breakdown

Note: January 2022 data through 1/16/22; online + offline US direct-to-consumer sales