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People Who Buy Athletic Apparel but Don't Exercise

An article in The Wall Street Journal asks, "Why work out when you can just buy the clothes and look like you did?" The article explores a growing trend in the athletic apparel market—people are buying sports clothing without actually practicing the sport. The article notes "the U.S. athletic apparel market will increase by nearly 50 percent to more than $100 billion at retail by 2020, driven in large part by consumers snapping up stretchy tees and leggings that will never see the fluorescent lights of a gym." For instance, sales of yoga apparel increased by 45 percent but yoga participation grew by less than five percent.

The trend isn't limited to yoga. Outdoor and camping retailers have debuted new lines of hiking boots and flannel shirts for people who probably have no intention of actually hiking and camping. Retailers are also rolling out jogging pants and preppy, $90 men's running shorts for men who may never jog.

The article quoted one buyer of athletic apparel who likes to wear yoga pants around town but who seldom has time to workout. She said, "When you put on your workout apparel, you think, 'Huh, maybe I should think about working out today.' "

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