The global sports merchandise retail market size will reach $36 billion by 2024 from $21 billion now, on the back of increasing use of sportswear items worldwide, according to a new report.
“For one thing, growth is being driven worldwide by continuous innovation and development on the part of major producers. Namely, the design and manufacture of the most gorgeous sporting accessories, sports apparel and general memorabilia ever created,” said Business Matters, a leading UK-based business magazine, on March 15.
“You only have to look at the quality of today's sports posters, football strips and novelty collectibles to see how far things have come. Some of the world's most important emerging markets are also playing a role in driving the industry's growth.”
The magazine said thriving economies like India and China are contributing enormously to the growth of the industry, as millions of new customers spend vast combined sums of cash on sporting merchandise.
Of the total $30.62 billion worth of garment items exported from Bangladesh in the last fiscal year, more than 10 percent was sportswear garment items, according to industry insiders.
A new opportunity has opened up for Bangladesh, the world's second largest garment exporter after China, as an increased number of global fashion retailers and brands are placing work orders to source sportswear along with other garment items, said local garment exporters.
“Almost all major sportswear brands and retailers like Reebok, Nike, Adidas and Puma purchase sports garments from Bangladesh as local apparel manufacturers are capable of meeting their demand,” said Abdus Salam Murshedy, managing director of Envoy Group, a leading garment exporter.
A certain percentage of his yearly garment exports include sportswear items, he said, without disclosing the figures.
“Now, we have separate machinery to make sportswear items,” said Murshedy.
Almost all the major compliant garment factories in Bangladesh have sportswear making facility as the number of foreign retailers and brands seeking such goods from Bangladesh is growing, the exporter said.
Mohammed Hatem, managing director of Narayanganj-based garment factory MB Knit Fashions Limited, said production of sportswear items requires a special kind of fabric which can absorb sweat quickly.
“I have received a lot of work orders for sportswear garment items recently, but I do not have the fabrics. So, I have to import the fabrics from China,” said Hatem, also a former vice-president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Of his total $15 million-worth exports per year, at least 3 percent comes from sportswear sales, Hatem said, adding that his sportswear items were mainly sent to buyers who supply jerseys to supporters of different European clubs.
“We need technical know-how and skilled people to grab more of the sportswear market worldwide. We have machines and markets. Now, we need special attention in this particular area.”