Sainsburys teams up with Russell Athletic

Sainsbury’s is launching a new alliance with the iconic American sportswear 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 Tu range. For men, it follows the success of leisurewear brand Admiral.

Sainsbury’s launched its first branded partnership with Admiral in stores and online in August 2015. The brand has seen strong growth since then, with sales up 155 per cent compared with the initial launch. The collection was originally available in 100 Sainsbury’s stores but quickly expanded to 170 stores with a wider range to keep up with growing customer demand.

The partnership with Russell Athletic comes as the trend for wearing sports-style clothing for everyday activities continues to grow.

‘Athleisure’ sales have grown 42 per cent over the past seven years and the market is worth £204 billion globally and £7 billion in the UK.

The move will enable Sainsbury’s to further grow market share and compete with high-street brands by offering customers the same style and quality at supermarket prices.

Inspired by University and College sports and worn by world class USA athletes including major league baseball and NFL players, the Russell Athletic range delivers classic vintage styling through premium jersey fabrics teamed with the iconic arch logo.

James Brown, Sainsbury’s commercial director, said: “Sainsbury’s clothing business is quickly becoming a destination fashion brand, growing strongly over recent years and continuing to gain market share.

“Through working with brands we are able to offer our customers an even greater choice alongside our popular Tu range. Russell Athletic shares our approach to great quality at fantastic value and we are delighted to be able to offer our customers its iconic sportswear. Admiral has proved successful on menswear and we are sure that both our male and female customers will love this new range.”

Zubair Mal, VP Future Brands Ltd Russell Athletic, said: “We’re excited to be launching Russell Athletic clothing and accessories in Sainsbury’s. With its growing online offer, customers will be able to find new ways to shop our products with a brand they know and trust. Whether on or off the field, inside the gym or out, Russell Athletic provides stylish products that are both comfortable and performance driven and we’re confident Sainsbury’s customers will be big fans of the range.”

Sainsbury’s Tu clothing saw growth of 15 per cent in the last two years. The supermarket is the UK’s sixth biggest clothing retailer by volume and tenth by value.

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