- Following a record 2022, performance footwear brand Brooks Running raced into Q1 with a 20% year-over-year global revenue increase, the company announced on Wednesday.
- In direct e-commerce, Brooks Q1 global revenue grew 33% year over year. The legacy brand’s revenue from the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region increased by a record 32%, according to the company.
- Brooks continued to gain market share in the U.S. specialty run category as Q1 revenue in that area grew 42% from the year-ago period. Brooks remained the top running brand at U.S. retail in adult performance running footwear with 23% share of the market, according to Circana.
Brooks results are an indication that, despite economic headwinds, there are consumers willing and able to purchase performance footwear.
“In times of economic challenge, consumers make choices based on their individual priorities and lifestyles at the time,” Beth Goldstein, footwear industry analyst at Circana, said. “Running may fare better than other categories because it’s a way to decompress and stay healthy, and consumers may prioritize this.”
Goldstein also noted that consumers may consider buying a pair of premium running shoes as a smart economic alternative to purchasing a more expensive gym membership. Goldstein’s research at Circana shows that growth in adult running shoes is coming from a mix of under $50 options, mid-range of $75 to $99 and high end of over $150. “So, I think we are seeing a bit of trading down as well as some trading up,” Goldstein said.
Brooks Running’s first quarter e-commerce results are notable because they further support the notion that putting more emphasis on DTC channels by athletics brands is proving to be a winning formula. Nike, Under Armour and Adidas have all highlighted the importance of direct-to-consumer sales to their overall business strategies.
“In the face of continued uncertainty in the global consumer marketplace, the premium running category remains a bright spot as getting outdoors and moving is a positive force in people’s lives,” Jim Weber, CEO of Brooks Running, said in a statement. “With participation rates healthy and the demand for quality, premium product as strong as ever, Brooks is executing uniquely and earning the trust of retailers and runners.”
The athletic footwear market is projected to grow annually by 4.2% over the next five years, per a report by Statista. Global revenue for the segment in 2023 is projected to be about $53 billion. The U.S. is the leading country in terms of revenue at $14.9 billion this year, per Statista.