In 2015, the trade-in articles and services intended for the practice of sport and leisure is estimated at approximately 10.7 billion Euros in France (+4.3%). This is the 5th consecutive year of market growth, which follows an already buoyant year in 2014 (+3.4%).

This market experienced a period of strong growth in the early 2000s (21% growth between 2000 and 2007). Before suffering the consequences of the crisis and experiencing a few lean years from 2008 to 2010. The recovery was started in 2011 and the distribution of sporting goods has experienced renewed growth since then. Proof of this renewed dynamism, in 2015, the sports market recorded its strongest growth in turnover (+4.3%) since 2003.

The trade-in sporting goods is divided between specialized sports trade (supermarkets specialized in multi-sports, specialized distribution, etc.) and non-specialized trade (supermarkets for food, fashion, clothing, etc.). Since the arrival of specialized multi-sport supermarkets in the mid-1990s, the gap between specialists and non-specialists has continued to widen. In 2015, specialists had an 80% market share in the distribution of sporting goods.

Consumer trends driving the sport and leisure business

Sports use is gaining ground

The development of sportswear is a deep-seated trend in the sporting goods market that appeared in the 1970s. And was largely caused by market players (Nike, Quiksilver, Decathlon, etc.). This movement which consists, for reasons of comfort and fashion, in diverting sporting goods from their primary use (sports practice) to wear them for any occasion (work, relaxation, etc.), largely explains the tremendous progress of the sporting goods market in Western countries in general and in France in particular.

Nevertheless, since the early 2010s, the “sporting” use of sporting goods has been gaining ground compared to “leisure” use. Consumers are looking for more and more technical products for their sports practice, hence an increase in the “sport” use of their clothing and shoes by 6%, compared to only 3% for leisure use in 2015. And since 2012, sporting use has gained nearly 4.4 points to the detriment of leisure, to reach 38.8% market share.

The inevitable rise of women

Long outdistanced by men in their relationship to sport, women are now as numerous (49%) as these gentlemen (50%) to practice a sport regularly.

This inevitable rise in women’s sports practice increases tenfold in terms of the consumption of sporting goods. Between 2010 and 2015, the “women’s” segment grew twice as fast as the men’s segment.  Bringing its market share to 40% in textiles and approximately 30% in footwear. It is now the “women’s” segment that drives the growth of the sportswear market ahead of the “junior” and “men’s” sections.

The sports shoe at full speed!

In terms of equipment, the sports shoe stands out as the darling of the shelves. After rising 9.3% in 2014, the segment ended 2015 with a record growth of 10.1%. Driven by the Eurobasket in France, as well as the fashion for urban “sneakers”, the “basketball” segment stands out. The “running” and “fitness” segments, which benefit from the enthusiasm of the French around these two practices, also posted double-digit growth in 2015.