The activewear market is soaring and legacy brands are looking to get in on the boom.
Levi Strauss & Co. has announced that it will acquire lifestyle apparel brand Beyond Yoga. The all-cash deal is set to close in Q4 of 2021 and marks the company’s entry into the activewear category.
Beyond Yoga, known for its focus on body positivity and inclusive sizing, will join LS&Co.’s brand portfolio, which includes Levi’s, Dockers, Signature, and Denizen. LS&Co. aims to expand Beyond Yoga’s brick-and-mortar retail presence and build off of its strong digital presence.
According to Levi Strauss CFO Harmit Singh, Beyond Yoga has “more than doubled its revenue and grown profitability in a disciplined manner over the last three years.”
He added that the transaction will allow LS&Co. to “profitably scale a high-return, digital business.”
The Beyond Yoga deal marks the latest example of a legacy company adding a digitally focused activewear brand to its portfolio.
On Monday, Wolverine World Wide Inc. closed a deal for the acquisition of fitness lifestyle brand Sweaty Betty. The move gives the shoe giant a stake in the fast-growing and competitive women’s activewear category, which is led by high-growth brands like Lululemon. It also represents a renewed commitment to e-commerce and opens the door for synergies between Sweaty Betty and some Wolverine footwear brands, such as Saucony and Merrell.
Activewear sales increased more than 40% in the first half of 2021 compared with last year, and more than 25% compared to 2019, according to a July 30 report from Matt Powell, senior sports industry adviser for The NPD Group Inc. Activewear grew more than athletic footwear in the first half of 2021, with women’s activewear up 40% and men’s and children’s rising 45%, compared to 2020.
LS&Co. president and CEO Chip Bergh said this acquisition will cement his company’s stake in the “fast-growing activewear segment.”
“The foundation the Beyond Yoga team has built, combined with LS&Co.’s resources, global reach and scale, make me confident that Beyond Yoga will become a powerful growth engine for LS&Co. and help drive our strategic priorities,” Bergh said. “Beyond Yoga’s values-led approach to business, centered on inclusivity and authenticity, makes it a natural fit to our company portfolio.”