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NPD: Strong Sales in Athletic Category

Athletic sales are on the uptick.

According to The NPD Group Inc., sales in the U.S. sports market increased 4 percent during the period of January through August of this year, compared with 2012. Total sales for footwear and activewear equaled $36 billion, the company reported.

Sales specifically for athletic footwear increased 1 percent, with the men’s running category showing the biggest growth, owning 24 percent of the market. The casual athletic department increased 6 percent, and basketball jumped 12 percent.

“Contrary to the women’s trend in activewear, young men have found the desire to dress up by wearing a suit with athletic shoes. This look also is becoming popular among the middle-aged male market seeking that active look,” NPD Group’s chief industry analyst, Marshal Cohen, said in a statement. “So in athletic footwear, consumers are keeping with the multiple-uses trend and buying footwear to match their activewear, as well as their dinner outfits.”

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