Summary of our market study

The global sportswear market, having endured a significant downturn during the health crisis with a reduction in size to $160.61 billion in 2020, is on a path of recovery. The pandemic initially led to prioritization of essential goods and a loss of interest in clothing, but also sparked a surge in demand for comfortable, athleisure-style clothing as people turned to sport for well-being, subsequently influencing the market. While the share of sportswear is projected to dip slightly due to a shift back to dressier items, the long-term forecast remains positive, with an expected recovery to a market size of $267.79 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 6.6%. Sportswear's market share is anticipated to reach 23.6% by 2025. Despite the 2020 slump in production, the sector has been showing signs of resilience with an expected increase to 482 million garments and 340 million shoes produced in 2021. The United States continues to be the largest market, with $72.82 billion in sales in 2020, despite a decrease from the previous year. Innovations, particularly in e-textiles and sustainability, are becoming increasingly influential in the market dynamics. The sportswear segment encompasses footwear, clothing, and accessories, with footwear and clothing taking the largest market shares. In France, the market experienced a decline, not fully recovering to pre-Covid levels, with sportswear and sporting goods sales reaching €10.63 billion in 202. The shift towards eco-responsibility driven by younger, environmentally-conscious consumers and the rise of digital commerce are other notable trends shaping the sportswear landscape.

French Sportswear Market: Consumer Trends and Preferences in a Post-Crisis Landscape

In the wake of the recent global pandemic, the French sportswear market has undergone notable changes, reflecting the evolving consumer preferences and demands. More than half of the French population, particularly those between the ages of 16 to 24, have embraced sportswear not only for athletic purposes but also as everyday fashion items. This shift towards a more relaxed and casual style has been intensified during the health crisis, with a significant percentage of people prioritizing comfort over appearance in their clothing choices.

The market observed a decrease in the volume of clothing purchases by around 15% in 2020 when compared with pre-crisis levels, and despite signs of improvement, purchasing volumes remained lower than those recorded in 2019. Amidst this scenario, certain categories of sportswear, particularly men's T-shirts and sweatshirts, witnessed an uptick, possibly due to the "casualization of outfits" trend. Influences on consumer purchases in the sportswear domain are various with storefronts being the primary source of inspiration.

Despite the rise of digital mediums, multi-brand retailers seem to be the preferred choice for French consumers for athletic-intended sportswear, accounting for over 50% of the market's purchasing preferences. E-commerce platforms and social networks also play a significant role, with between 15% and 20% of purchasing decisions being influenced by online channels, underscoring the growing importance of digital presence in the sportswear market.

The 'Gorpcore' trend, which combines outdoor gear with everyday fashion, has especially taken hold amongst fashion and streetwear communities, attracting interest on social media platforms and becoming a distinct segment in the sportswear market. Moreover, there is a pronounced movement among consumers towards eco-friendly products. Sportswear brands are increasingly expected to demonstrate sustainability, with the younger generations, which represent a substantial proportion of the luxury sector consumers by 2025, leading the demand for environmentally conscious offerings.

Nike's "Move to Zero" effort is a response to this trend, highlighting the importance of incorporating sustainability into sportswear business models. This also suggests that the future success of sportswear brands may hinge on their ability to align with the eco-responsible values of Millennials and Generation Z consumers. With the sportswear market undergoing such significant transformations post-Covid, the French sportswear market is poised for a future characterized by greater casualness, digital influence, sustainability, and market segmentation.

Key Players Shaping the French Sportswear Market Landscape

The French sportswear market is dynamic and diverse, featuring an exciting mix of established global giants, innovative startups, and luxury brands venturing into the realm of athletic comfort. This chapter delves into the prominent names that leave an indelible mark on the field with their unique offerings, market strategies, and consumer appeal.

  • Nike: As one of the titans of the sportswear industry, Nike holds a substantial piece of the market share, not just in France but globally. With its 'Move to Zero' program and forward-thinking sustainability initiatives, Nike has successfully endeared itself to environmentally conscious millennials and Gen Z consumers. The brand's eye-catching and function-driven designs, especially in their "Space Hippie" line, demonstrate a commitment to innovation while maintaining a strong street presence.


  • Adidas: A standing rival to Nike, Adidas has made significant strides in the market by collaborating with renowned designer Stella McCartney. The brand's commitment is evident in its designs and partnerships that combine high fashion with athletic performance. Adidas continues to be a heavyweight player in the industry, known for its quality sportswear that caters to both professional athletes and fashion-savvy individuals.


  • Lacoste: A notable entry from the luxury sector, Lacoste has infused sportswear with a touch of class and exclusivity. Collaborations like Lacoste x Supreme and Lacoste x Ricky Segal signify the brand's strategic use of partnerships to bolster its presence within the sector. These moves not only resonate with fashion-forward audiences but also contribute significantly to their profits and market positioning.


  • Under Armour: Another notable brand in the athleisure and technical products segment is Under Armour. Renowned for its high-performance gear, the company has built a reputation around its athletic apparel that supports peak performance. Under Armour's presence is strong among fitness enthusiasts who demand both functionality and comfort from their sportswear.


  • Decathlon and Intersport: Within France, multisport stores like Decathlon and Intersport are highly favored for sportswear purchases. These stores offer a wide range of activewear and equipment, catering to various sports and outdoor activities. They've also become important destinations for those seeking athleisure wear, thanks to their accessibility and variety.


  • Salomon, Arc'teryx, and Oakley: These brands are particularly popular among fashion-conscious customers looking for high-quality, technical outdoor gear. Their designs often blur the lines between fashion and function.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Introduction and market scope

Strictly speaking, sportswear refers toall clothing designed to be worn while practicing a sport. From a less Manichean point of view, it's clothing for men or women made up of distinct pieces, such as jackets, pants, sweaters, skirts and shirts, which are casual in style and can be worn on their own or in various combinations for informal activities. Sportswear has always played in two categories, offering both products for sporting activities and products that are comfortable and easy to wear on a daily basis. If one in two French people prefers to feel comfortable in their clothes before looking at their look, it's because in recent years, at work or in the city, attitudes have changed.

The latest report 'Global Sportswear Market to 2025 with COVID-19 Impact Analysis' by GlobalData reveals thata quarter of all clothing sold in the first year of the pandemic (2020) was made up of "sportswear" items. While the share of sportswear is expected to fall slightly this year as consumers opt for dressier items, the return to pre-pandemic norms will not be as noticeable for the professional wardrobe. Sportswear's share of the apparel market is expected to reach 23.6% by 2025.

The COVID-19 crisis has had a major impact on this market. Naturally,French consumers shifted their purchases to essential goods, partly due to the closure of various stores, and partly due to a loss of interest in the clothing sector. But paradoxically, successive confinements have created a vast demand for more comfortable clothing, and the 'athleisure' style - sophisticated segment of sportswear - has boomed. Another analysis is that the French returned to sport during the crisis, boosting demand for sports equipment, which belongs to the sportswear segment.

As a result, sportswear is now an essential part of the French wardrobe, and the fashion and luxury sectors have grasped the importance of this trend. Examples include Salomon, Arcter'yx and Oakley, all of which are very popular with fashion-conscious customers in France and Europe.

1.2 A global market finally recovering from the health crisis

Global sportswear market size

The global sportswear market size was $***.** billion in ****. The market suffered a huge drop of over **.*% between **** and **** due to the health crisis. However, due to a growing interest in sporting activities and the adoption of a more casual style of dress, this market is regaining its ...

1.3 Global trends and market opportunities

We've taken a look at some of the global trends for the sportswear market up to ****. Mckinsey's'The State of Fashion ****' report shows us the major revolution taking place in the materials used, likely to increase the links between the sports, research and technology sectors. [***]

New, ever more innovative and practice-oriented ...

1.4 A French market in the post-Covid fray

The French sportswear market is struggling to recover its pre-Covid-** level. In contrast to other essential sectors, where the rebound was driven by strong demand from the French, the textile sector, and sportswear in particular, has no longer become a priority for the French consumer. As a result, the graph below ...

1.5 French foreign trade in sportswear

In this section, we have used the UNcomtrade database database to estimate French foreign trade. As the site does not contain references solely dedicated to sportswear, we have analyzed and grouped together * categories in order to come as close as possible to the reality of the market. Consequently, we used the ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Typology of French sportswear buyers

Sportswear consumption by age

More than one in two French people, in their everyday lives, bypasses the use of items originally intended for sport to turn them into fashion items(***) and Ipsos. The **-** age group is even more concerned by this attitude, with **% declaring that they dress in this ...

2.2 Consumption criteria and choices: a very marked before/after crisis

Successive crises have not finished changing French consumer habits. The health crisis and the forced closure of retail outlets have had an unprecedented impact on consumption volumes.

In ****, the volume of clothing purchased on the French market fell by **%. In ****, the improvement observed was not sufficient to surpass **** consumption levels, as ...

2.3 The sportswear market is driven by the explosion of e-commerce and online sales

A veritable savior of the market during the crisis, and a veritable vector of revolution for the fashion sector over the past ** years, e-commerce and online sales platforms have done the French sportswear sector a world of good.

In fact, according to Fevad, **.*% of Internet users will have bought a fashion ...

2.4 A polluting industry in search of eco-responsibility

The fashion industry in general is notorious for its unsustainable impact on the environment. After agriculture, fashion ranks as the second most polluting industry, accounting for *% of greenhouse gas emissions in **** according to McKinsey's "Fashion on Climate" report. Unfortunately, the sportswear category is one of the most polluting. This exploding trend ...

2.5 The 'Gorpcore' trend: sportswear and activewear at the height of high fashion

The smaller world of fashion and streetwear has caught on to the sportswear trend, and we're seeing the emergence of new styles such as "Gorpcore", i.e. casual wear of an Arc'teryx jacket with Patagonia pants and a pair of salomons. [***]

GORPCORE represents the convergence of outdoor gear and more everyday ...

2.6 Other trends and opportunities in the French sportswear market

Eco-friendly trends

Today, the rarest products can fetch high prices, as can vintage, which in recent years has breathed new life into the whole market. The future of sportswear has been the subject of controversy, but it seems certain that this trend still has many years ahead of it. The style ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain in the French sportswear market


The value chain in the French sporting goods market can be broken down into two main categories: manufacturers and distributors. However, as theUnion sport & cycleit is possible to be even more precise. In fact, the association identifies * main types of manufacturer (***):

new entrants: positioned in emerging market segments specialized manufacturers: ...

3.2 The state of French textile production

The production process depends on the product. However, the preliminary stage is always the same: analysis of consumer needs. Next comes product design. Designers and engineers, more or less numerous depending on the technical nature of the product, work together to design the product so that it meets the specifications.

Then ...

3.3 A post-Covid era driving innovation in supply chain organization

A distribution market controlled by generalists

Decathlon, Intersport, Go Sport and Sport **** have succeeded in establishing themselves throughout the country, totalling thousands of specialist sports stores. Smaller, non-specialized stores are facing difficulties and finding it increasingly difficult to attract customers. this is in stark contrast to specialist stores, which are recording ...

3.4 French sportswear market leaders: Decatlhon and Intersport still in the lead, adapting to "athleisure" and "casual" demand trends

Over the period from May to the end of July ****, the fashion market for all Textile, Footwear and Accessories categories recorded a *.*% decline. The sports and sporstwear market declined slightly by *.*% over the period compared with ****.In a study on the changes brought about by confinement in French people's relationship with ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Typology of players in the French sportswear market

The association's department store buyers segment sportswear into four entities. Firstly, athleisure, which refers to clothing used for sports or everyday activities (***) and accounts for **% of department store sales in this category.

Next comes the streetwear universe(***), which includes brands such as Obey, Avnier, A Cold Wall, Facetasm, Heron Preston and ...

4.2 Different prices in the French sportswear market

Identify the different price ranges on the market

First-price brands: these generally offer affordable products for everyone, without any particular visual distinction. This enables them to target a wide audience at prices ranging from €* to €**, depending on the product. Low-cost brands include Artengo and Kalenji, for example. Mid-range brands: these offer ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Pollution and environmental protection

In ****, France's "anti-waste" law will ban the destruction of unsold clothing by brands and retailers nationwide. This shows that brands are beginning to be held accountable for their impact on the environment, and will now reap more benefits by changing their model now rather than continuing to operate with little regard ...

5.2 Clothing trade and manufacture

The trade and manufacture of sportswear are not subject to any particular regulations , nor do they differ from the trade and manufacture of clothing in general. In addition to the legal and fiscal legislation governing these activities, we can cite the following, as she indicates Crédit Agricole:

No specific training ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation of players and their sales

  • Decathlon Groupe
  • Intersport France
  • Lacoste Groupe
  • Salomon (Amer Sport groupe)
  • Doudounes JOTT
  • Patagonia
  • Fusalp
  • Palm Angels (New Guards Group)
  • Adidas
  • Circle Sportswear
  • Skis Rossignol
  • Nike

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Estimated size of global sportswear market based on a CAGR of 6.6%
  • Worldwide market share by product type
  • Distribution and evolution of Nike's worldwide revenues, by region
  • Evolution of the Adidas Group's worldwide production of sportswear and footwear
  • Breakdown of sportswear consumption by age group
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Latest news

Intersport and Go Sport hot on Decathlon's heels in France - 11/04/2024
  • Stabilization of like-for-like sales last year at Intersport.
  • Increase in sales following the acquisition of Go Sport: 3.65 billion euros, i.e. **an increase of 11.2% compared with 2022.
  • Projected openings: Between 15 and 20 new stores planned each year
Decathlon: all the 2023 performance figures - 05/04/2024
  • - Worldwide sales 2023: 15.6 billion euros, up +4.4% on 2022
  • - Decathlon presence: 78 countries.
  • - Number of products sold worldwide last year: 1.19 billion.
  • - Share of digital sales: 17.4%
  • - Sales in France: 4.752 billion euros, up +1.24% on 2022.
  • - Total number of stores worldwide: 1,749, including 319 in France.
  • - Total number of employees: 101,000, including 24,000 in France.
Decathlon revolutionizes itself to become a global brand - 13/03/2024
  • - Company sales: 15.4 billion euros
  • - Number of stores: Over 1700
  • - Presence in 69 countries
  • - Number of brands developed by employees : Over 70
  • - Number of disciplines covered by brands: Around one hundred
  • - Focus on product-related services: rental, second-hand, subscription, recycling, etc.
Decathlon sells store premises for 600 million euros - 12/12/2023
  • The network has 1,751 stores worldwide.
  • Décathlon has just sold the walls of 90 of its stores for 600 million euros.
  • The decision was taken to remove many of the company's brands from the shelves. Of the current 49 stores, only around 15 are expected to remain by next year.
  • The recent acquisition of, a German online retailer of mountain sports equipment.

Fusalp: Sophie Lacoste, awarded for her audacityp - 23/11/2023
  • Fusalp was founded in 1952. Fusalp has grown from annual sales of 6.2 million euros to 52 million euros.
  • Fusalp aims to achieve sales of 100 million euros within three years.
  • Fusalp has 64 boutiques in several countries, including Europe, Lebanon, South Korea, Scandinavia and the United States.
Circle Sportswear raises $4 million for greener running - 22/11/2023
  • Sales in 2022 were 700,000 euros.
  • The company expects sales of 3 million euros in 2024
  • The company's first flagship product is the SuperNatural Runner, a pair of eco-friendly running shoes.
  • The company will open a boutique in the Marais district of Paris in February.
  • The French running market is estimated at 850 million euros. There are some 13 million running enthusiasts in France

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Decathlon Groupe
Intersport France
Lacoste Groupe
Salomon (Amer Sport groupe)
Doudounes JOTT
Palm Angels (New Guards Group)
Circle Sportswear
Skis Rossignol

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