Apparel retailers reported strong demand for athleisure clothing and innerwear, a trend that saw a sudden increase last year, and is likely to benefit this year as India’s Covid-19 lockdowns persist. Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL) reported that its active athleisure innerwear segment grew 56 per cent over the same quarter last year, driven by solid e-commerce growth. “The performance was also aided by aggressive demand for the category including comfort wear and athleisure. The business also expanded its distribution footprint by adding over 5,500 new trade outlets during the year. On a full-year basis, the business recovered strongly, and was ahead of last year levels, thus validating the strength of the brand Van Heusen in innerwear and athleisure categories,” it said in its earnings release.