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One of the world’s leading sportswear companies is looking to cash in on a hot new market: men’s yoga apparel.
On Thursday evening, Nike CEO Mark Parker announced that the company would be launching a men’s yoga line sometime next year. The decision was based on data that shows a growing demand for such clothing.
Historically speaking, the womenswear market has always been more profitable than the menswear market—but that could be changing soon. According to a report released earlier this year by business intelligence firm Gartner L2, menswear will outpace womenswear within the next two years.
“As demand for menswear continues to grow, it is essential for brands that carry both men’s and women’s products to target men both on brand site and in digital marketing across the web,” the report concluded.
But if Nike wants to capitalize on the trend, it will have to compete with other leading retailers. Rival Lululemon, for example, recently announced plans to grow its menswear line into a $1 billion business by 2020. As Business Insider reports, the brand already has a popular product called the ABC (anti-ball-crushing) pant. The $128 stretchy pants are designed to look like jeans.
Similarly, Gap has introduced a men’s athletic collection called Hill City. The innovative new line encompasses a mix of casual and athletic wear, like shorts, hoodies, and light jackets.
“Active is a key growth area for Gap Inc. and Hill City is our response to consistent feedback from customers looking for a premium men’s product that combines highly technical fabrications, performance, and style,” CEO Art Peck told the press this past September.
Whether the trend will truly take off the way analysts say it will remains to be seen. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to invest in these companies.