Sweaty Betty: A New Queen Wants to Rule Fitness Empire

Watch out Lululemon Athletica, the women's fitness market in the U.S. is getting even more competitive with the arrival of new fitness player Sweaty Betty from across the fitness pond. This woman-owned company's self-stated mission is: inspire women to find empowerment through fitness.  

If you don't like the fun name, you're probably a guy: apparently, 90% of women love the name, while 90% of men dislike it. 

At the helm is founder and CEO Tamara Hill-Norton. In 1998, Hill-Norton set out  to build a female-friendly and fashion-focused sports boutique. As well as selling, the stores offer 50 free fitness classes each week which is a healthy marketing tool. UK employees even get a tax free bicycle for commuting.

 In 15 years, Hill-Norton's empire has grown to 33 stores in the United Kingdom, a successful online store and now she's setting up shop in Manhattan. While the store isn't set to open in New York's SoHo area until later this fall, Sweaty Betty hosted a few pop-up shows throughout the summer.

Hill-Norton's timing is perfect. The U.S. is the world's largest market for sports and fitness clothing and by 2017 the global sports and fitness clothing market is anticipated to achieve sales of  $138.4 billion.

The increase in women participating in sports and fitness activities has largely impacted the growth trend in the market. When it comes to sportswear, women age 35 and up with more disposable income represent the major  group and offer lucrative opportunities to several players engaged in women's sports apparel business.

Workout capris range from $60–$110 and tank tops start at $30 and go as high as $88. For those on a tight budget, maybe check back during a sale.

Photo: Facebook