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Footwear on the Rise: The trends gaining traction in 2018

September 19, 2018

Curious where footwear sales stand in the global market? Beth Goldstein, Executive Director & Industry Analyst, from NPD was at MAGIC to give us all the stats for the first half of 2018. And the good news is: The future of footwear looks exceptionally bright.

Consumer spending

Consumer confidence is up, unemployment is down and retailers are opening stores which brings footwear revenue to a new peak of $70 million, up last year from $68.78 million.

Areas of growth

Men’s footwear is growing more than women’s, but all categories are on the rise compared to 2017 sales. Men’s grew 50% with 27.3B in sales, Women’s grew 35% with 33.3B in sales, and Kids’ grew 15% with 10.1B in sales.

Average spend per buyer is up $308 with Millennials accounting for 2/3 of the increase. However, Gen Z is declining in sales as they’re spending money on tech, food, ridesharing, travel, and school.

As far as business categories, startups, branded shoe stores. and retailers focused on niche markets are experiencing the most growth.

The sneaker trend

Active and comfort are still hugely popular categories. In fact, sport leisure is the dominant driver as the sneaker trend is on the rise. Not only is the workplace becoming more casual, athleisure is a growing fashion movement with gym wear translating to everyday street style. And of course, people crave comfort. There’s also a season-less aspect to sneakers making them a popular year-round choice in various climates.

Sandals + festival season

Festival-driven footwear drove gains across industries. It’s a growing category, and with seasons being unpredictable, sandals are now a year-round business.

During transitional months, consumers went online to buy “off-season” footwear. Online sales are now 30% and growing.

Sustainability pays

Younger consumers are more concerned with how footwear is made. When asked if they made a purchase because of a brands social mission; 27% of overall respondents said yes, 34% of 18-34 year olds said yes. Almost 40% of millennials said they’d pay more for sustainability.

Beth’s takeaways + marketing tips:

  • Comfort is no longer a bad word. The perception of comfort shoes is changing.
  • With weather patterns and traditional fashion seasons changing, plan for the unpredictable and leverage your channels to sell year-round.
  • Innovate. Solve problems the consumer doesn’t know they have. Over communicate features and benefits, but don’t get caught up in describing the technology.
  • Social and eco-consciousness customers will soon make up your largest base so if you have sustainable features be sure to emphasize them to your audience.



Footwear Industry Trends from 2018


Footwear Industry Trends from 2018


Footwear Industry Trends from 2018


Footwear Industry Trends from 2018