Dick’s Sporting Goods launches new men’s athleisure line to take on Lululemon

Dicks Sporting Goods VRST
Dicks Sporting Goods VRST.

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods is launching a men’s activewear line, VRST.
  • The line will have athletic wear and casual clothing.
  • Athletic wear has done well during the pandemic as overall apparel suffers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is launching a men’s athleisure brand called VRST to compete with Lululemon and other athletic brands.

VRST is a “men’s athletic apparel brand built for the modern active man who lives life on-the-go,” Dick’s Sporting Goods said in a press release. The line will include pants, joggers, shorts, tees, and hoodies priced from $30 to $120. It will be sold in Dick’s stores across the US, along with its own e-commerce platform.

Read more: Echelon Fitness’ CEO reveals how the connected-fitness company grew sales by 700% during the pandemic, thanks in part to its focus on accessibility

Activewear and athleisure have fared well throughout the pandemic of the past year as people increasingly turn towards comfortable, functional clothes. While apparel overall lagged behind other sectors, sporting goods saw 75% growth according to Adobe’s Covid-19 report. Apparel sales were down 34% between March and July, but shorts, sweatpants, and sports bra sales all rose.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Athleta, and other brands reported increased demand for athleticwear in the second quarter of 2020. Target’s athletic brand All in Motion reached $1 billion in sales in 2020, within only a year of launching, Avery Hartmans reported for Insider.

Dicks Sporting Goods VRST
Dicks Sporting Goods VRST.

Athleisure brands like Lululemon have traditionally relied on women for the majority of sales, but they’re turning to men as potential customers, too.

Lululemon attracted men with casual wear and an office commute line. Specifically, the stretchy ABC (anti-ball-crushing) pant is one of the most popular in the line, Mary Hanbury reported for Insider in 2018. Dick’s and VRST seem to be going for the same customers with “a variety of commuter pants” in the new line for men.

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Gap’s CEO says people will emerge from pandemic isolation and start ‘peacocking,’ in what could be a boon for retailers

CEO of Gap Inc. Sonia Syngal
CEO of Gap Inc. Sonia Syngal

Gap has high hopes for the country to soon return to normalcy as vaccinations pick up.

Gap Inc. CEO Sonia Syngal said she expects sales to grow as consumers dress to impress others after months of decreased socializing.

“We’re quite optimistic,” Syngal said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “We do think there’s going to be this peacocking effect that happens, as people emerge from Covid.”

Gap appointed Syngal as chief executive in March 2020, months after former CEO Art Peck’s sudden departure. Peck left the company after sales slumped in 2019 due to declining foot traffic from shopping malls. 

Syngal, the former CEO of Old Navy, said she planned to grow Gap Inc. by investing in the firm’s 60 million-person customer base to capitalize on a captive audience. 

But the COVID-19 pandemic upended retail shortly after Syngal took over. As Americans avoided malls and spent more time shopping online, Gap Inc. announced it would close 350 Gap and Banana Republic stores in North America – or 30% of its total locations – by the end of 2023.

Syngal told The Journal that online holiday shopping helped offset some losses. The firm reported online sales increased to 45% of total sales in 2020, up from 25% the year prior.

The chief executive added the firm will cut back on costs spent on making stores “safer” during the pandemic as vaccines become more widely available. 

President Joe Biden said he expects vaccines to become available for all Americans by May shortly after the Food nad Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s shot. The Centers for Disease Control plans to release guidelines on activities vaccinated people can safely do, which include some indoor gatherings.

Some retailers are banking on consumers spending money on new clothes as they going out after getting vaccinated. The menswear brand Suitsupply released an ad titled “The new normal is coming” with a photo of naked models kissing.

“Post-pandemic life is on the horizon,” Fokke de Jong, Suitsupply’s founder and CEO, told Insider’s Kate Taylor. “The campaign is simply a positive outlook on our future where people can get back to gathering and getting close.” 

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Tom Brady covered up his Nike swoosh after winning the Super Bowl to support Under Armour

tom brady nike under armour
Tom Brady is one of the leading spokesmen for Under Armour, and he’s not in the business of giving free PR to the brand’s competitors.

  • Tom Brady is an Under Armour ambassador, and he’s fiercely loyal to the sports apparel brand.
  • After he won Super Bowl LV, the Buccaneers QB acted shrewdly to snub one of Under Armour’s competitors.
  • Brady noticed a Nike swoosh visible on his undershirt, so he pulled up his championship T-shirt to cover it up.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Tom Brady is one of the leading spokespeople for Under Armour, and he’s not in the business of giving free PR to the brand’s competitors.

Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat out Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs to win Super Bowl LV Sunday night. As the 43-year-old quarterback hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the seventh time in his esteemed career, he caught a glimpse of himself on the stadium’s video board.

tom brady.JPG
Tom Brady holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after his Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Super Bowl LV.

A red Nike swoosh was peeking out from his undershirt.

Nike has a contract with the NFL that requires all 32 teams to outfit their players in the brand’s apparel, including jerseys, sideline apparel, and more. That deal extends to base layers like undershirts, which aren’t typically visible to viewers.

2021 02 08T033927Z_148751903_MT1USATODAY15544815_RTRMADP_3_NFL SUPER BOWL LV KANSAS CITY CHIEFS VS TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
A Nike swoosh is clearly visible as Tom Brady poses with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

So when Brady saw the Nike swoosh sitting squarely across his chest as he clutched his latest piece of hardware, he acted quickly and shrewdly to show his undying loyalty to Under Armour on football’s biggest stage; the 2021 Super Bowl MVP pulled up his gray Buccaneers Super Bowl Champions T-shirt to cover the decal.

Check out the clip below:

Brady’s likely to run into this issue a few more times over the final years of his career. The NFL’s apparel deal with Nike runs through 2028, so swooshes will continue to feature prominently on the gridiron. But if we’ve learned anything about the quarterback over his 21 years in the league, he will find a way to walk off with a win – no matter if it’s for himself, his team, or his brand.

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The sneaker resale market exploded in 2020. These were the most expensive sneakers that sold on The RealReal this year, where some pairs went for up to $20,000.

Most expensive sneakers of 2020
The sneaker resale industry has continued to thrive amid a pandemic.

  • The sneaker industry thrived in 2020.
  • Hyped collaborations and a surge in demand for the Air Jordan brand helped keep the sneaker resale market hot.
  • Luxury consignment platform The RealReal shared a roundup of the most expensive sneakers to sell on the platform in 2020.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

2020 was a fantastic year for sneakers, pandemic notwithstanding. 

While lockdowns and store closures initially hurt production, the industry quickly bounced back, thanks to a variety of factors that helped ignite demand for certain pairs.

Across all sneakers available on resale platforms, Air Jordan soared above the rest in 2020, in part, thanks to the launch of ESPN’s Michael Jordan docuseries “The Last Dance.” 

Read more: In the ‘year of Jordan,’ GOAT CEO says demand for the retro sneakers has skyrocketed for reasons other than the ‘Last Dance’ documentary

Beyond Air Jordan, a slew of interesting new releases this year also fueled the hype.

The controversial Ben & Jerry’s-themed “Chunky Dunkys” and the Grateful Dead SBs are still fetching more than $1,100 and $700 on StockX, respectively.

Thus far, the $2 billion sneaker resale market has proven to be somewhat pandemic-proof. GOAT, a leading sneaker resale platform, saw a surge of new sellers joining the app at the start of pandemic. StockX, another leading sneaker resale platform, announced in a July report that it had surpassed 10 million lifetime sales and had its two biggest sales months ever during the months of May and June.

As 2020 draws to a close, Luxury consignment retailer The RealReal shared a roundup of the most expensive sneakers to sell on its platform in 2020. From the always popular “Back to the Future” themed Nikes to the Tom Sachs Mars Yard, here were the top sellers:

10. Nike Air Force 1 Low Scarr’s Pizza

Nike Air Force 1 Low Scarr’s Pizza

Sold for: $5,000

These sneakers were a result of a collaboration between Nike and Scarr’s Pizza, a New York City restaurant. The shoes were released for friends and family in August of 2019 and were inspired by the restaurant’s retro look. 

9. Nike SB Dunk Low “Reese Forbes Denim”

Nike SB Dunk Low 'Reese Forbes Denim' Sneakers

Sold for: $5,250

Released in 2002, this sneaker marked skateboarding legend Reese Forbes’ second Dunk collaboration. The denim-on-denim silhouette has made this pair iconic.

8. Nike x Tom Sachs Mars Yard Shoe 1.0

Nike x Tom Sachs Mars Yard Shoe 1.0 Sneakers

Sold for: $5,300

Designer Tom Sachs collaborated with Nike to launch this sneaker that was inspired by his experiences with NASA scientists. The sneaker initially launched in May of 2012 and was re-released in 2017.

7. Jordan 1 Retro Legends of Summer Red Glitter

Jordan 1 Retro Legends of Summer Red Glitter Sample Sneakers

Sold for: $6,500

These glittered sneakers launched during Justin Timberlake’s and Jay-Z’s fall 2013 “Legends of Summer” tour. At the time of the release, only a few pairs were given to fans.

6. Nike Air Force 1 Low G Dragon Peaceminusone Para Noise

Nike Air Force 1 Low G Dragon Peaceminusone Para Noise Sneakers

Sold for: $8,000

This low-top sneaker features a yellow leather Nike swoosh and daisy embroidery on the tongue.

5. Jordan 1 Retro Legends Of Summer

Jordan 1 Retro Legends Of Summer Sneakers

Sold for: $8,000

These limited edition Jordan 1s are were also from Justin Timberlake’s and Jay-Z’s fall 2013 “Legends of Summer” tour. This pair only surfaced on the resale market about a year after it dropped at the concert. 

4. Nike MAG “Back To The Future”

Nike MAG ‘Back To The Future’ Sneakers

Sold for: $9,995

The shoes inspired by the ones Michael J. Fox’s character Marty McFly wears in”Back to the Future Part II” was released in 2011. A product description on the Stadium Goods website describes the shoe as “perhaps the most sought-after sneaker of all time.”

3. Jordan 3/8 Retro ‘Kobe Bryant’ PE Pack

Jordan 3:8 Retro ‘Kobe Bryant’ PE Pack Sneakers

 Sold for: $11,875

The Jordan brand released these special-edition Jordans on February 14, 2016, to celebrate basketball legend Kobe Bryant. These sneakers are a tribute to Bryant’s 20 years in the NBA and feature the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to Amir Azarcon, The RealReal’s sneaker and streetwear expert, this limited edition pack became even more popular after the sudden death of Kobe Bryant in January.

2. Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior

Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior

Sold for: $16,500

Designer Kim Jones collaborated with the Jordan brand for this iconic Dior sneaker, which Azarcon described as the sneaker of the year. Launched in April of 2020, this pair represents a successful cross between sneaker culture and the luxury fashion space.

1. 2005 Parra x Nike Air Max 1 Hyperstrike Albert Heijn Amsterdam

2005 Parra x Nike Air Max 1 Hyperstrike Albert Heijn Amsterdam Sneakers

Price sold for: $20,000

These sneakers were one of two pairs designed by Dutch artist Pieter Jansen (Parra Patta) that were inspired by his hometown of Amsterdam. The colors on this pair represent Albert Heijn, a Dutch supermarket chain.

“This is one of the most coveted Air Max’s in the world, and this pair sold in less than 24 hours on our site,” said Azarcon.

 

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