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Mar 24, 2021
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Big-name fitness brands boom on pandemic's consumer fitness focus says Clearpay

Published
Mar 24, 2021

While many people have been less active during lockdown, a considerable number have been making sure they stay fit and this has boosted fitness brands in the last year.


Puma/JD Sports



That's according to major ‘buy now pay later’ service Clearpay, with its data showing a 10% increase in value sales of fitness products and a 23% increase in volume sales from January 2020 to January 2021. 

Big brands like Puma, Adidas, McKenzie and Nike were the most popular names bought via Clearpay throughout 2020 and early 2021. 

And it seems that many consumers were determined to stay active right from the start of the pandemic with the figures showing an 8% increase in spending on this category between January and April last year.

But it seems that it may not only have been people who wanted to stay fit who were boosting sales, with people who were just looking for comfort in their indoor lifestyles also buying in to the category.

Clearpay said “comfy apparel and loungewear were at the top of consumers’ shopping lists”. That feeds in to the overall loungewear trend seen more widely last year. But Clearpay added that specific activewear remained the most popular apparel purchased via its service since March 2020. 

Buying activewear may have had a mental health boosting effect in tough times. Psychologist, Shakaila Forbes-Bell said that as well as physical activity being important for both physical and mental wellbeing, “activewear, compression wear and even form-fitting clothing, in general, can allow you to experience deep touch pressure and the accompanying anxiety-reducing benefits, which may explain why leggings have been consistently popular among Clearpay customers”.

So it’s perhaps no surprise that the list of the top 10 fitness products bought in the first four months of last year saw Puma’s Core Leggings at number one, followed by Adidas Originals Trefoil Leggings and the Puma Core T-Shirt.

In fourth place were Nike Club Joggers, ahead of Nike Club Short Sleeve T-Shirt, McKenzie Essential Cuff Joggers Junior, Nike High Waisted Single Swoosh Leggings, Nike Core 2 T-Shirts, McKenzie Essential Cuffed Track Pants and Puma Core Logo Shorts Junior.

The same or similar products made the top 10s for May to September, October to December and January/February this year too, with those four brands all outperforming.

The number one product from May to September was the McKenzie Essential T-Shirt, which is understandable given how warm it was in the UK during those months. 

But it also topped the list from October to December, although the Puma Core Leggings took over as number one again at the start of this year.

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