While sportswear has always been one of the most popular niches in the apparel industry, it continues to grow year-on-year thanks to the ever-increasing number of people taking up sports and exercise nowadays. The popularity of this kind of clothing represents a great business opportunity for those already in the apparel business, as well as budding entrepreneurs willing to try their luck in this field. So, whether you are a clothes retailer trying to expand your catalogue, or someone hoping to get into the sports apparel business, check out our tips for starting a successful sportswear line.
Choose Trusted Wholesalers
The sportswear market is an extremely competitive one, with thousands of brands fighting for superiority, which can make it difficult for newer brands to stand out and grab customers’ attention. Of course, branding is very important in this sense, as you want your logo and slogans to set your products apart from the competition. However, the quality of your products is even more important than your branding, so choosing the right wholesalers to provide your apparel is key. Sportswear buyers are very specific as the quality of the garments can affect their performance. With this in mind, try to use trusted sportswear wholesalers like Augusta Sportswear, Russell or Holloway. These brands have years of experience in the sportswear industry, creating high-quality blank apparel that is loved by customers and retailers alike. Using brands like these will ensure your customers’ happiness and will help your brand quickly gain a positive reputation when it comes to quality.
Offer Fast Delivery
Yes, we know this sounds obvious. Everyone wants fast delivery, so all apparel businesses should offer it when possible. But why is fast delivery especially important for sportswear brands? Well, the main reason is that sportswear buyers are often shopping to replace items that have been damaged or are no longer suitable for use. This means these customers’ need for their items is more urgent than, for example, someone buying clothes for fashion purposes, particularly if it’s an item that they don’t have alternatives for. So, it’s important to get sportswear to buyers as quickly as possible, as they often can’t exercise or participate in their favourite sport without it.
Also, a high number of sportswear purchases are made when people feel the impulse to start exercising or take up a new sport, like in the first few months of the year, or leading up to summer. In these moments people are usually shopping today, because they want to join the gym or a sports team tomorrow, or as soon as possible. With this in mind they will often chose the supplier offering the shortest delivery times, so make sure it’s you!
Choose Fabrics with the Right Features
Sports and exercise apparel comes in thousands of variations. There are many different options in terms of fabrics and features including how they fit, how much water (sweat) they retain, so it’s vital for any supplier to be well-informed and stock as many options as possible. Although a lot of exercise gear looks similar at first glance, a lot of modern garments are equipped with advanced technology. Moisture-wicking fibres are a good example of this, helping wearers stay dry by pushing sweat away from the garment, rather than retaining it. Everyday clothes generally retain water, getting heavier as they get wetter, making them unsuitable for exercise. So make sure you choose apparel with this feature, your customers will be grateful.
Another important feature to consider is compression, which helps increase blood flow when exercising and provides extra support during and after exercise. Most sports apparel from today’s reputable brands uses compression technology, so your customers will certainly be looking for it.
Focus on Sports that are Popular in Your Distribution Zones
Unless you plan on investing millions into your sportswear line from day one, you are likely to start off distributing to local areas. With this in mind, it would be a good idea to conduct some research (unless you already have information) on the most popular sports in that region. Focusing on the sports that are most commonly played is an easy way to make sure you quickly become a trusted source in your area. For example, if you are based in the United States, it wouldn’t be a good idea to stock lots of cricket clothing and equipment, you’d be better off providing basketball gear or baseball equipment. Starting off in this way will help you build a solid foundation, before potentially expanding to sports that are popular in other parts of the world.
As well as individual sports, it’s also a good idea to stock generic sports apparel and equipment that is versatile and can be used for different sports and activities. Don’t box yourself in with apparel for one or two sports, make sure you stock high quantities of shorts, t-shirts and socks to make sure your brand is useful to a variety of customers.
Inspired by these tips? Fancy your starting your own sportswear brand? Or has it made you want to exercise? Whatever the case, be sure to check out our complete range of sportswear on Wordans. We offer incredible discounts, particularly on bulk and wholesale orders. You can also find more inspiration on our Instagram page @wearewordans.