Apr 19, 2017
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Sainsbury's to offer Russell Athletic branded apparel in major new deal

Apr 19, 2017

UK supermarkets giant Sainsbury’s is expanding its buoyant clothing offer with a major brand tie-up this week and is launching sports-leisure pieces from American sportswear brand Russell Athletic.

Sainsbury's is linking with major US sports-lesiure brand Russell Athletic

A wide range of Russell Athletic clothing for both men and women, as well as accessories for men, will be available on Sainsbury’s Tu clothing website as part of the retailer’s strategy to offer customers choice across different channels.

The partnership with Russell Athletic will mark the first time female customers are able to buy branded clothing alongside Sainsbury’s own Tu range. Meanwhile for men, it follows the success of its link-up with leisurewear brand Admiral that launched almost two years ago. The firm said the Admiral deal has been a major success. Sales have risen 155% since its initial launch with the company expanding its distribution and product offer based on strong demand.

The Russell agreement comes as the firm aims to maximise opportunities from the athleisure trend with sales for that market up 42% over the last seven years to reach £7bn, according to research from Morgan Stanley.

The company said the Russell Athletic range delivers “classic vintage styling through premium jersey fabrics teamed with the iconic arch logo.”

Sainsbury’s Tu clothing saw growth of 15% in the last two years and the supermarket has become a major player in the UK fashion sector. It is now the UK’s sixth biggest clothing retailer by volume and its 10th by value.

Tu’s growth comes at a time when UK supermarkets have been under huge pressure in their core food and drink operations as margins have shrunk and all the major players in Britain have been seeking to grow in non-foods.

Sainsbury’s has been among the most successful having acquired interiors brand Habitat and general merchandise retailer Argos, with the two businesses helping it to maximise space in its giant stores and exploit faster-growing retail categories.

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