Forecast: 2021 Footwear Consumption Will Rise 3.8 Percent in North America


According to the latest World Footwear Business Conditions Survey for the first quarter of 2021, footwear consumption will rise 3.8 percent in North America this year. And the majority of industry experts see the U.S. accounting for approximately 10 percent of global footwear consumption in 2025. Overall, worldwide 2021 footwear consumption is pegged to rise 2.8 percent but not reach pre-pandemic levels until 2023.

Among other key findings in the report, produced by the Portuguese Footwear, Components, and Leather Goods Manufacturers’ Association:

  • 45 percent of survey respondents see the quantity of North American footwear “stabilizing” in the second quarter with another 30 percent projecting a decrease and 25 percent forecasting an increase.
  • More than half (52%) of respondents expect footwear prices to stabilize over the next six months with 32 percent projecting they will move higher and 16 percent saying they will fall. In North America specifically, 45 percent predicted higher prices over the next months with another 45 percent forecasting stabilizing prices.
  • Survey panelists continue to see sneakers and other sports-related footwear, including models with textile uppers, to continue gaining market share. Conversely, 59 percent of respondents see demand for classic men’s leather footwear continuing to fall.
  • The Top 5 industry difficulties, as stated by the survey’s respondents, are: insufficient demand in home market (50%), insufficient demand in international markets (48%), financial difficulties (44%), Cost of merchandise/raw materials (41%) and competition in international markets (23%).
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