Sneaker Sales Still Rising


Global adoption of athletic shoes for daily use and other sports-related footwear is forecast to escalate dramatically over the next three years, according to respondents to the latest Business Conditions Survey from World Footwear, an initiative from the Portuguese Footwear, Components and Leather Goods Manufacturers’ Association.

Citing the ongoing work shift from the office to teleworking and people spending more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 75 percent of survey respondents said they expected sneakers to gain market share over the next three years. Over the same period, 60 percent predicted an increase in other sports-related footwear and 50 percent said they expected sales increases from footwear with textile uppers.

Conversely, 52 percent of survey respondents are forecasting a decline in classic men’s leather footwear sales through 2023 and 45 percent foresee a drop in classic women’s leather footwear sales.

The latest edition of the survey is based on results from 122 respondents, 56 percent based in Europe and 8 percent in North America. Additionally, 31 percent of respondents are involved in footwear manufacturing and 21 percent in footwear trade and distribution.

Overall, survey respondents are forecasting a 22.2 percent decline in global footwear consumption in 2020 with North American expected to shed 795 million pairs this year. During the first semester of 2020, footwear imports into the U.S., the globe’s largest import market, declined by 26.7 percent. Still, over the next six months, 40 percent of respondents predicted footwear prices to stabilize in North America with another 40 percent forecasting higher prices. Only 20 percent of respondents anticipated lower footwear sales in North America over the period. Meanwhile, Vietnam as a sourcing country for footwear is forecast to account for 11.5 percent of all footwear exports in 2025.

As the for the Top 5 issues facing the global footwear industry today, survey respondents said the top two concerns are Insufficient Demand in International Markets (57%) and Insufficient Demand in Home Market (55%), followed by Financial Difficulties (42%), Cost of Merchandise/Raw Materials (24%) and Competition in Home Market (22%).

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