Gym beats budgeting; Londoners spend nearly £200 per piece of activewear

  • Brits’ most expensive single activewear purchase last year averages £141 – rising to £187 in London
  • Running is the sport most likely to drive activewear purchases followed closely by gym workouts
  • Males on average spend more than females on activewear

LONDON, UK, 25th January 2018 – New research from Rakuten Marketing unveils findings from 2000 consumers across the UK on the latest activewear trends today. The results show UK consumers’ most expensive single activewear purchase averages at £141, rising to £187 among activewear shoppers in London.

Nearly half of Brits are likely to have spent this much money on footwear – 47% admitted this was the most expensive activewear purchase they made this year. Another 29% made their greatest investment in clothing.

Northerners spend slightly less than average (£137) on expensive single purchases, but the lowest activewear spenders are actually London’s neighbours in the surrounding South of England, averaging at £127.

The most influential sport when it comes to Brits’ activewear purchase decisions is running, which causes nearly a fifth of consumers to buy into this trend (19%). Running proved to be incredibly popular with the younger generation in particular, with a quarter of those surveyed saying it is the most influential sport for activewear purchase decisions (24%). This is closely followed by the gym at 16%, rising to 25% for 16-29s but lowering to 9% for over 60s.

Growing market

A massive 44% of Brits say that their spending has increased on activewear in the last year. In a quarter of cases, consumers admitted spending had shot up over the last year – as much as 70-100%. The largest growth is in the youth market 16-29 (57%) and the high-spending Londoner (54%).

These are unsurprising figures, as although 75% of those surveyed wear activewear predictably when exercising, many have taken to wearing activewear outside of the gym. 49% of those surveyed are wearing activewear at home, 29% when running errands and a rather surprising 13% at work. Almost a fifth of Londoners surveyed (19%) say they wore activewear to work last year.

Abi Jacks, Marketing Director at Rakuten Marketing UK says, “People are no longer just wearing activewear at the gym. It has become a fashion trend and the results of this survey reveal a huge market that brands should really be taking a close look at. When looking at who drives Brits’ activewear purchases, it comes as no surprise that both friends (37%) and family (33%) hold huge influence. However, rising influencers include sportspeople and social media stars have nearly a fifth of Brits’ favour.”

Battle of the brands and rise of the influencer

Looking at which sports brands influence activewear purchases the most, it comes as no surprise that Nike holds the largest sway at 39%, with Adidas driving 28% of shoppers to buy. More unexpectedly, some of the largest names in sport have significant catch-up to do, including Under Armour (5%) and Reebok (9%).

A growing factor in Brits’ purchasing decisions surrounding activewear is fit. 39% of consumers do the majority of their activewear shopping online and 35% of those surveyed say that the fit was a significantly important factor to consider when purchasing activewear.

Jacks goes on to say, “Whilst legacy sports brands Nike and Adidas currently capture the majority of consumers’ imagination, knowing shoppers’ preference for buying online and critical factors such as fit means that any apparel marketers looking at this space can start to build campaigns that appeal to the way people are now buying activewear.


Notes to editors: This surveyed was carried out by Viga Research in January 2017 amongst 2000 UK consumers across the UK.

About Rakuten Marketing

Rakuten Marketing is the global leader in integrated marketing solutions, spanning affiliate, display and search. Rakuten Marketing empowers marketers to achieve the full potential of digital marketing by delivering data-driven personalised ad experiences that engage consumers – across screens, platforms and traditional publishers – and influence them to purchase. Rakuten Marketing is committed to transparency, providing consumer journey insights that are used to continually optimise for performance.

Rakuten Marketing is a division of Rakuten Inc. (4755: TOKYO), one of the world’s leading Internet service companies. With UK offices in London and Brighton, the company is headquartered in San Mateo, California, with additional offices in France, Australia, Brazil, Japan, and throughout the United States.

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