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Nike, Adidas, ? – here’s the next big player



Nike and Adidas dominate the gym wear market, but there is a young UK company that is rivalling the global giants with strong sales and leading social media presence

Mat Cole form ACT Capital Partners says Adidas and Nike are the major players but there could be a third.

Say hello to UK gym wear company Gymshark

Who are they? Founded by teenager Ben Francis from his parents’ garage in 2012, Gymshark has grown an engaged fan base of millions followers on Instagram,  thanks to its ability to leverage the power of social media and influencer marketing.

“It’s the three C’s, it’s community content, and then commerce and they nailed it,”

Mat Cole told ticker news

Cole says they built a really engaged community around the gym.

“People wanted, you know, comfortable, good looking now effective apparel, to wear to the gym, it was probably a really small niche when they started in terms of the serviceability of that entire suite of products from a Nike or an Adidas, and they saw that opportunity.”

The founder started in the back of his parents house packing the gear, shoving it in a box, driving it to the post office himself with an old waggon.

“He did a phenomenal job and, and he stayed in touch with his consumer. He stayed in touch with the influences. He stayed in touch with his community. And that’s the way that we’re able to iterate the products out that people wanted. They understood the products and the demand of their consumers. They built this really fast model to deliver products that people wanted really quickly,” Cole says on founder Ben Francis.

How is Gym Shark at an advantage over major players?

Cole says from day one, they don’t have big incumbent systems like a Reebok or like a Nike, so that’s a real advantage for them.

“I think there’s this huge amount of growth in their business,” he said.

“So direct to consumer, great influence and marketing campaigns, or young CEOs or young founders of startup, handing it over to a more mature CEO to really grow the brand. While he did an apprenticeship. He’s now taken back over as the CEO of Gym Shark.”

The company is based in Birmingham in the UK, it’s got over a billion dollar valuation.

“So it’s one of the first to emerge in that really sort of duopoly market, between Nike and Adidas”

Adidas offloading Reebok?

German sportswear giant Adidas has agreed to sell the struggling Reebok brand after buying the company in 2006.

The new owner is US company Authentic Brands Group who bought the Reebok brand for 2.1 billion euros ($US2.5 billion).

In February this year Adidas announced that it would offload the brand after struggling to lift its fortunes.

Adidas CEO said “Reebok has been a valued part of adidas, and we are grateful for the contributions the brand and the team behind it have made to our company,”

Authentic Brands Group owns a number of well known names including Fashion retailers JCPenney, Forever21 and Brooks Brothers, as well as the publication Sports Illustrated.

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Research shows daters are looking for solvent partners



As the cost-of-living crisis continues to grip Australia, new research reveals a shifting landscape in the realm of dating preferences.

According to the survey conducted by eharmony, an overwhelming two-thirds of Australians are now keen to understand their potential partner’s financial situation before committing to a serious relationship.

The findings indicate a growing trend where individuals are becoming more discerning about whom they invest their affections in, particularly as the economic pressures intensify.

Read more: Why are car prices so high?

The study highlights that nearly half of respondents (48%) consider a potential partner’s debts and income as crucial factors in determining whether to pursue a relationship.

Certain types of debt, such as credit card debt, payday loans, and personal loans, are viewed unfavorably by the vast majority of respondents, signaling a preference for partners who exhibit financial responsibility.

Good debt

While certain forms of debt, such as mortgages and student loans (e.g., HECS), are deemed acceptable or even ‘good’ debt by a majority of respondents, credit card debt, payday loans (such as Afterpay), and personal loans top the list of ‘bad’ debt, with 82%, 78%, and 73% of respondents, respectively, expressing concerns.

Interestingly, even car loans are viewed unfavorably by a significant portion of those surveyed, with 57.5% considering them to be undesirable debt.

Sharon Draper, a relationship expert at eharmony, said the significance of financial compatibility in relationships, noting that discussions around money are increasingly taking place at earlier stages of dating.

“In the past, couples tended to avoid discussing money during the early stages of dating because it was regarded as rude and potentially off-putting,” Draper explains.

“However, understanding each other’s perspectives and habits around finances early on can be instrumental in assessing long-term compatibility.”

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US energy stocks surge amid economic growth and inflation fears



Investors are turning to U.S. energy shares in droves, capitalizing on surging oil prices and a resilient economy while seeking protection against looming inflationary pressures.

The S&P 500 energy sector has witnessed a remarkable ascent in 2024, boasting gains of approximately 17%, effectively doubling the broader index’s year-to-date performance.

This surge has intensified in recent weeks, propelling the energy sector to the forefront of the S&P 500’s top-performing sectors.

A significant catalyst driving this rally is the relentless rise in oil prices. U.S. crude has surged by 20% year-to-date, propelled by robust economic indicators in the United States and escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Investors are also turning to energy shares as a hedge against inflation, which has proven more persistent than anticipated, threatening to derail the broader market rally.

Ayako Yoshioka, senior portfolio manager at Wealth Enhancement Group, notes that having exposure to commodities can serve as a hedge against inflationary pressures, prompting many portfolios to overweight energy stocks.

Shell Service Station

Shell Service Station

Energy companies

This sentiment is underscored by the disciplined capital spending observed among energy companies, particularly oil majors such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

Among the standout performers within the energy sector this year are Marathon Petroleum, which has surged by 40%, and Valero Energy, up by an impressive 33%.

As the first-quarter earnings season kicks into high gear, with reports from major companies such as Netflix, Bank of America, and Procter & Gamble, investors will closely scrutinize economic indicators such as monthly U.S. retail sales to gauge consumer behavior amidst lingering inflation concerns.

The rally in energy stocks signals a broadening of the U.S. equities rally beyond growth and technology companies that dominated last year.

However, escalating inflation expectations and concerns about a hawkish Federal Reserve could dampen investors’ appetite for non-commodities-related sectors.

Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel Corp., highlights investors’ focus on the robust economy amidst supply bottlenecks in commodities, especially oil.

This sentiment is echoed by strategists at Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets, who maintain bullish calls on energy shares, citing heightened geopolitical risks and strong economic fundamentals.

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How Australians lose nearly $1 billion to card scammers in a year



A recent study by Finder has unveiled a distressing trend: Australians are hemorrhaging money to card scams at an alarming rate.

The survey, conducted among 1,039 participants, painted a grim picture, with 2.2 million individuals – roughly 11% of the population – falling prey to credit or debit card skimming in 2023 alone.

The financial toll of these scams is staggering. On average, victims lost $418 each, amounting to a colossal $930 million collectively across the country.

Rebecca Pike, a financial expert at Finder, underscored the correlation between the surge in digital transactions and the proliferation of sophisticated scams.

“Scammers are adapting, leveraging sophisticated tactics that often mimic trusted brands or exploit personal connections. With digital transactions on the rise, it’s imperative for consumers to remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their financial assets,” Pike said.

Read more – How Google is cracking down on scams

Concerning trend

Disturbingly, Finder’s research also revealed a concerning trend in underreporting.

Only 9% of scam victims reported the incident, while 1% remained oblivious to the fraudulent activity initially. Additionally, 1% of respondents discovered they were victims of bank card fraud only after the fact, highlighting the insidious nature of these schemes.

Pike urged consumers to exercise heightened scrutiny over their financial statements, recommending frequent monitoring for any unauthorised transactions.

She explained the importance of leveraging notification services offered by financial institutions to promptly identify and report suspicious activity.

“Early detection is key. If you notice any unfamiliar transactions, don’t hesitate to contact your bank immediately. Swift action can mitigate further unauthorised use of your card,” Pike advised, underscoring the critical role of proactive measures in combating card scams.

As Australians grapple with the escalating threat of card fraud, Pike’s counsel serves as a timely reminder of the necessity for heightened vigilance in an increasingly digitised financial landscape.

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