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Athleisure Is About to Become a Whole Lot More Affordable


If you've been coveting a pair of Lululemon leggings but have been money-smart and opted for a more affordable athleisure option instead, you're not alone. With companies like H&M, Victoria's Secret, and Forever 21 launching activewear lines at lower prices, the pricey big-name brands are seeing a major drop-off in sales.

And while that may seem like a bad thing, it's great news for the financially-savvy fit girl; since the market is flooded with cute crop tops and patterned leggings to outfit your workouts (and, lesbehonest, brunches) until your heart's desire, retailers who normally charged an arm and a leg for athleisure might be forced to slash prices to continue making sales.

Bloomberg Graph Legging Costs

Activewear sales increased by 16 percent in 2015 versus the year before, as reported by Bloomberg, but the recent launch of even more activewear lines (hi, Beyonce and Tory Burch) has pushed down prices. Average selling prices for leggings and capris dropped nine percent in the first quarter of 2016 from a year earlier, according to data from research firm SportsOneSource, as reported by Bloomberg (see graph above). And that means companies who aren't jumping on the fashion-meets-fitness bandwagon (or are getting forgotten about in the wake of all these new, start-up brands) can't stay afloat. According to Bloomberg, City Sports, Sports Authority, Pacific Sunwear, American Apparel, and Quicksilver have all submitted bankruptcy filings, and one from sports retailer Eastern Mountain is in the works.

The graph from Bloomberg below shows that Nike—let's just call it the Beyoncé of the fit wear world—is the only company that hasn't seen a decrease in sales in the last year. Hopefully, this means our favorite companies will start offering activewear for prices that we can justify sweating in. (Because as much as we love the ~fancy~ stuff, it feels weird to sweat in one pair of pants that costs as much as a full Forever 21 shopping haul. Although we have no problem justifying buying the designer ones.)

Bloomberg Athleisure Graph


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