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Bras: The 'athleisure' trend's latest casualty

Chalk it up to the popularity of yoga pants and workout tanks.

As female shoppers purchase more athletic apparel, the rise of "athleisure" has already caused a subsequent spike in the popularity of athletic shoes. Now, the lifestyle shift appears to have another beneficiary: the sport bra.

According to The NPD Group/Consumer Tracking Service, U.S. dollar sales of sport bras are on the rise, as revenues from the undergarment's traditional version are inversely taking a hit.

Just take a look at Hanesbrands' most recent earnings call. In the second quarter, the firm said sales in its innerwear division fell 1 percent, stemming from a decline in intimates. By contrast, revenues from its activewear division—albeit aided by the acquisition of Knights Apparel—increased 19 percent.

Speaking to the category as a whole, Hanesbrands' Chief Operating Officer Gerald Evans said intimates sales have declined at a high single-digit rate over the past year.

"Part of it is a trade-off from the athleisure trend, part of it is comfort," NPD's Marshal Cohen said. "The other part is the lack of innovation in...


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