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Superdry on why sportswear is a 'key focus' for growth

Sportswear will be a “key area of focus” for Superdry going forwards after customers responded “exceptionally well” to the launch of its Sport collection last year.

Superdry Sport launched with a capsule womenswear collection for autumn 15 and menswear was added for spring 16. The brand is now increasing the number of Sport options available to between 80 and 100, introducing new fabrics and creating designated areas within more of its stores.

It has also added two new fits to the range: athletic and active.

“You put the words ‘Superdry’ and ‘Sport’ together and it feels like it is a marriage made in heaven,” said Julian Dunkerton, founder of Superdry and product and brand director of its parent company SuperGroup.

“It’s early days in the journey but we’ve had a fantastic response already to our product. It is going to be a massive area of focus for us because the public seems to love it.”

He said Superdry Sport is a “great gap filler”, which has a point of difference to existing large sportswear brands thanks to its product quality and design credentials.

Superdry Sport offers key pieces for everyday fitness for men and women, alongside capsule collections for athleisure, yoga, the gym, running and cycling. Retail prices range from £22 to £80.

The spring 17 collection, which was previewed at the brand’s global flagship on London’s Regent Street during London Collections Men last week, features graphic-print leggings and sports bras, running shorts and moisture-wicking vests. Two of the outfits were available on a “buy now” basis.

Superdry co-founder James Holder resigned as a director and employee of the company in May to lead the development of the new SuperDesign Lab in-house product innovation consultancy.

On Superdry Sport, he said: “It is a result of two years of testing and that’s the kind of thing that the new SuperDesign Lab will focus on.”

The company is also poised to cut the ribbon on its first US store after taking back the licence to sell the brand a year ago. The 12,000 sq ft store will open on 34th Street in New York on July 14 and will be followed by more stores later this year.

“We feel very good about the prospects in the US,” said Dunkerton. “What’s interesting for us is it is all about global competition and I think that a lot of retailers in the US have lost their way and forgotten why they were successful in the first place.

“We are unique in that we are product obsessed and I think that stands you in very good stead.”

The company is also set to open two stores in China in the next couple of months with its partner, LVMH-backed Chinese retailer Trendy International Group.

“We have an opening programme of stores we’re doing together based around the Shanghai and Beijing areas,” said Dunkerton.


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