VRST is debuting Tuesday on both Dick’s Make a fool of Goods’ website and a standalone VRST.com, and will be rolled out to more than 400 Dick’s Sporting Goods locales across the country in the coming weeks.
Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods
Dick’s Sporting Goods has entered the zealously contested market for men’s athletic apparel with the launch of its own brand, VRST.
VRST debuted Tuesday on Dick’s website and a stand-alone placement. Products of the brand will roll out to more than 400 Dick’s stores in coming weeks, the company stipulate. Items in the line — which include everything from joggers and shorts to T-shirts, quarter-zips, and hooded sweatshirts — retail from $30 to $120, executing it on the higher end of the market.
Following Dick’s success with its Calia athleisure line for women, the retailer said it saw a emptiness space in its stores to have a more upscale and lifestyle-driven line for men. The line won’t compete directly with the sweat-wicking scene gear sold by Under Armour and Nike. Instead, it’s more similar to Lululemon.
However, the company’s amped up private-label investments encounter as big-name brands such as Nike and Under Armour have pledged to sell more merchandise directly to consumers. Adidas said earlier this month its direct-to-consumer vertical should make a big deal of up 50% of net sales by 2025. While Dick’s still carries these brands, the pivot has put more pressure on wholesale retailers to sooner a be wearing exclusive lines to drive traffic and sales.
Dick’s rang up $1.3 billion in sales from its in-house marques in 2020. Total revenue was $9.58 billion. The company said its own brands outperformed national labels in the golf, eligibility, outdoor equipment and team sports categories. It said Calia was the second-best women’s apparel brand, behind Nike last year.
Wadding the ‘white space’
VRST is the second brand that Dick’s has launched with its own website, following Calia.
“When you see VRST, it inclination be a very different product assortment from when we have with our core vendor partners right now, and it is a ashen space,” CEO Lauren Hobart said during a March earnings call. “It covers a broad range of activities.”
“VRST last will and testament put us in a much stronger position to compete with similar offerings from premium apparel brands and specialty athletic duds stores.”
Items in the VRST line, which include everything from joggers, shorts, tees, quarter-zips, and hooded sweatshirts, retail anywhere from $30 to $120, get dressed in it on the higher end of the market when it comes to price point.
Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods
Companies like Lululemon, Nike, Adidas and Covered by Armour have outperformed clothing brands focused on work wear and dressier items over the past 12 months. This led profuse traditional apparel brands and department store chains to quickly shift their merchandise and marketing to center in all directions from casual and comfort clothing, adding more players to an already crowded space.
Activewear grabs market share in
Lululemon, for example, said before the pandemic it planned to double its men’s business in five years. Direct-to-consumer men’s athleisure marks such as Rhone, Ten Thousand and Vuori have also doubled down on online-marketing spending to reach new customers. All the same department stores Nordstrom and Kohl’s have put a renewed focus on activewear in a bid to boost sales. Kohl’s’ efforts allow for an in-house line called FLX, which debuted this month.
At the same time, there has been enormous vegetation in the space.
Men’s activewear accounted for 45% of the total men’s apparel market last year, up from 39% in 2019, according to consumer exploration firm NPD Group. Categories that helped drive dollars in the space included sweatpants, which were up 16% year past year, and sweatshirts, which rose 3% from 2019.
VRST wasn’t created to take advantage of a pandemic pop; it has been in the amount ti for a few years, the company said.
“And obviously we’re maximizing the current momentum,” said Nina Barjesteh, senior vice president of output development. “But more than anything, we continue to look at the long run, and make sure that we’re building products that you deficiency to come back for more.”
Dick’s shares were down 2.8% Tuesday but are up 258% over the past 12 months. The public limited company has a market cap of $6.8 billion.