Sweaty Betty is an aspirational sports retailer that combines activewear for women with on-trend fashion aesthetics. The brand was founded in 1998 and has been developed into a multinational retailer with a domestic presence of almost 50 stores, with more in the US and Hong Kong.

Despite the overall challenging retail environment, Sweaty Betty is benefiting from the home exercising trend to grow rapidly.  It has focused heavily to grow the brand online to reach new customers. This is helped by its own online presence and concession partnerships with retailers including John Lewis, Selfridges and Harrods in the UK and Nordstrom in the US and Canada. 

At the end of 2020 there were 46 standalone stores in the UK, 3 in Hong Kong and more than 50 Nordstrom concessions in the US. Whilst it continues to add concessions, the retailer took the decision to close its standalone US stores in 2020. However, its acquisition by US lifestyle footwear group Wolverine Worldwide in mid 2021 should see Sweaty Betty benefit from its new parent’s experience in the US, as well as its knowledge of the footwear market.

Revenues grew by 28.7% in 2019 to £72.9m and are expected to increase by around 60% in 2020 as many customers spend more time at home.

In 2021 the retailer expects to expand its digital engagement, including across Asia. It now has a total of three stores in Hong Kong, and plans to expand its digital engagement more broadly across Asia in 2021 and beyond.

Innovation rating: 2

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