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Retail Resilience

We spoke to independent footwear retailers across the country about the challenges they have faced this year, the strategies they’ve implemented, and how they envision the year ahead. Each of the stores featured on these pages is a past winner of our Gold Medal Service Award...

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Footwear Insight

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Retail Resilience

We spoke to independent footwear retailers across the country about the challenges they have faced this year, the strategies they’ve implemented, and how they envision the year ahead. Each of the stores featured on these pages is a past winner of our Gold Medal Service Award...

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Keep It Casual

The new season calls for functional, easy-wearing looks that pack in the comfort as well as the chic. Whether it’s versatile, comfortable ankle boots or sneakers with attitude, comfort looks for Fall ’21 deliver a dose of effortless cool that holds up all day long.

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By the Numbers

Thanks in part to consumers’ home-based lifestyles that have expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of slippers and Crocs had strong third quarter sales along with cold weather boots. All three categories are forecast to post continued solid results during the holiday season, ...

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Lines We Like

Casual style meets innovation in these standout new footwear offerings.

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Full Speed Ahead: All About the Run

Despite the challenges of 2020, the running industry is headed into 2021 with optimism. On the footwear side, new runners, new products and new technologies have the category ready to run into the new year. Performance brands are banking on everything from affordable performance to...

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For The Run 2021

Opportunities in the running market extend far beyond footwear. “New runners who leaned into running during COVID for the first time will be looking for safe training group options in spring, and later seeking events like 5K, 10K, fun runs, marathons and...

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The Comeback

After a rollercoaster of a year, retailers planning for 2021 face a daunting challenge. After unprecedented business challenges and new hurdles to navigate seemingly daily, there’s no roadmap for envisioning the shape of the year to follow. The good news: Run shops see opportunity ahead.

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The Mask Rundown

Running masks are a newly evolving category filled with opportunity, if you can get past the challenges. Brands and retailers share their learnings in attempts to accommodate customers.

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Q&A: The Atlanta Shoe Market

The Atlanta Shoe Market, scheduled to take place Feb. 20-22 at Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA, is on track to be the first in-person industry trade show of 2021 for many in the U.S. footwear market. We spoke with Laura Conwell-O’Brien, executive director of The Atlanta Shoe Market.

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Concerns about impeachment proceedings against Pres. Trump possibly slowing another U.S. stimulus package weighed on the Dow in the period’s final day. Earlier, the December jobs reports came in negative for the first time since April 2020 as payrolls were down 9.8 million from the Feb. 2020 level. The Dow ends the week up more than 381 points, or 1.24 percent. But the Segment outperforms the Dow over the period, rising more than 9.1 percent with all but German brands Adidas and Puma gaining for the period. On a percentage basis, biggest gainers were Boot Barn, Crocs, Designer Brands and Genesco. VF Corp. is moving its Asian business operations headquarters to Shanghai, China from Hong Kong and relocating its Asian product supply hub to Singapore over the next 12-18 months. Meanwhile, according to Coresight Research from a consumer survey, apparel and footwear over-indexes online purchases versus in-store. While 3-in-10 bought clothing online, only 22 percent made apparel purchases in-store. — Bob McGee 
The Footwear Insight Index tracks 20 of the most important publicly traded companies that have a substantial footwear business (6 retailers, 14 brands).
Index base of 100 is key to the closing prices of 12/29/17

INDEX: 190


Weekly Review

Company name
(Ticker Symbol)

% Change over week
Price 01/04/21 • Price 01/11/21



$18.58 • $18.63

Boot Barn


$41.86 • $54.74



$61.56 • $74.97

Designer Brands


$7.19 • $9.18



$28.23 • $36.02



$19.09 • $19.81



$110.25 • 108.24

Shoe Carnival


$36.94 • $42.13

Steve Madden


$34.30 • $37.26

VF Corp.


$85.12 • $87.06

Company name
(Ticker Symbol)

% Change over week
Price 01/04/21 • Price 01/11/21



$180.84 • $177.95



$14.53 • $16.16



$283.45 • $327.10

Foot Locker


$39.10 • $46.45



$0.99 • $1.00



$140.10 • $147.10

Rocky Brands


$28.29 • $31.40



$34.87 • $37.51

Under Armour


$17.35 • $17.98



$30.29 • $33.22

Week over week


$1,212.93 • $1,323.91

Footwear Insight Extra


JD Sports Fashion Acquires Family-Owned Shoe Palace Corp.

The British footprint in U.S. retail athletic specialty is getting larger. JD Sports Fashion, which paid $558 million for The Finish Line in June 2018, has now purchased the San Jose, CA-based Shoe Palace chain for $325 million cash and a 20 percent stake in JD’s wholly-owned U.S. company...

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DSW Parent Leans Into Athleisure, Says ‘Normalized’ Profitability Returns at B-T-S 2021

Designer Brands, waiting for a chief digital officer to come onboard and effects from the COVID-19 pandemic to subside, is currently forecasting “a return to normalized customer behavior or profitability” for the Back-To-School 2021 season. In the meantime, the company’s DSW retail segment will...

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Lululemon Readies Footwear Launch For H2/2021

After three years of collaboration with sneaker maker APL, Lululemon will take on the footwear category alone next year. The brand’s offerings in the category, which could include run-, training- and yoga-specific styles, will be introduced in the latter half of 2021 with sell-in slated...

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FDRA Adds to Board, Looks to Reinvigorate FFANY

Industry organization Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America has added eight new members to its board of directors. The group of footwear execs joining the board will play a role as FDRA assumes control and aims to reinvigorate the Fashion Footwear Association of New York...

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In The News: inov-8, Opalux, SFIA, Tecnica

UK-based footwear brand inov-8 has donated £9,600 ($12,981) towards the planting of new trees and the restoration of peat habitats in the battle against climate change. The money was raised through a “Green Friday” sales initiative on its website and a donation was made to the non-profit...

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New Balance Shifting U.S. Manufacturing Base

As privately held New Balance prepares to open its “Factory of the Future” in Methuen, MA next summer, the company has publicly disclosed plans to shutter its Boston neighborhood (Brighton) factory on Feb. 5, resulting in 63 layoffs. New Balance disclosed its plans in a regulatory filing with...

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Spyder Launching Lifestyle Footwear Assortment

Ski brand Spyder is getting into footwear. Authentic Brands Group-owned Spyder has struck a licensing deal with Footwear Unlimited that will enable the outdoor sportswear brand to enter the category with an assortment of outdoor, hike, trail, lifestyle and Aprés ski styes for...

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Zumiez Sees Expansion Potential in its Own Delivery Service

Currently available in 24 U.S. markets and 150 stores, Zumiez Delivery may provide the specialty retailer with an advantage during the holiday season as traditional shipping companies set restrictions due to capacity constraints. The in-house delivery service, staffed by Zumiez employees...

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Casual + Retro Are Trending at Journeys

Genesco President and CEO Mimi Vaughn thinks trends among the banner’s fashionable teen set have steady legs and that the “casual trend” offers upside potential for its Journeys business.

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UCLA Partners with Nike After UA Split

UCLA Athletics has entered a six-year agreement with Nike and the Jordan Brand for the brands to be the Bruins’ official athletic footwear, apparel and equipment provider beginning July 1, 2021. The move comes amidst a legal battle between Under Armour and UCLA. In June, UA announced...

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