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Athletic Shoes Drive Holiday Sales

Strong performance footwear sales during Thanksgiving week were attributed to the running category, led by hot brands such as On. Pictured above is the On Cloudeclipse.

Performance athletic shoe trends were positive during the week of Thanksgiving as more than 200.4 million consumers shopped over the five-day holiday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Dollar sales of performance athletic shoes rose by 10 percent, units were up 4 percent year-over-year, and the Average Selling Price (ASP) increased by 5 percent, according to data compiled by Circana. The research group attributed the segment’s gains to the running category and hot brands Hoka and On. Elsewhere, hurt by promotional activity, fashion footwear sales fell by 7 percent in dollars and units over the period, and leisure footwear, which includes casual sneakers, gained 2 percent in dollar sales and 5 percent in ASP but realized a 3 percent decline in units.

Overall, all footwear unit sales fell by 4 percent for the week ended Nov. 25. Dollar sales dipped only 1 percent as they were bolstered by a 4 percent increase in ASP.

The NRF estimates that 55 percent of all Thanksgiving Weekend purchases, including on Cyber Monday on Nov. 27, were driven by sales and promotions. That figure represents a 300-basis point increase from last year’s 52 percent. Meanwhile, 31 percent of shoppers told the trade group that a limited sale or promotion convinced them to make a purchase that they were hesitant about versus the 29 percent who gave the same answer in 2022. For the two-month holiday season ending on Dec. 31, the trade group has forecast overall sales growth of 3 to 4 percent.

During the holiday weekend, the average spend on holiday merchandise fell by 1.2 percent year-over-year to $321.41, according to the NRF, with apparel and accessories accounting for 49 percent of all buys. Also, it should be noted that 55 percent of purchases were driven by sales and promotions, up 300 basis points from last year.