- Signaling another shift in shoe tastes, a report from The NPD Group shared with Retail Dive predicts that footwear sales revenue will grow at an annual rate of 1% through 2025. The report also forecasts that consumers will seek shoes ideal for “casual everyday use” in the first half of 2023.
- The report found that sports leisure footwear sales generated the highest revenue last year, but fashion footwear also grew as consumers returned to in-person events.
- As shoppers tighten their wallets, casual footwear, sneakers and athletic footwear will likely be viewed as necessities, while categories like dress footwear, outdoor shoes and slippers will not.
The footwear industry’s sales may stabilize in the coming years, according to NPD.
“This will be a reset year for the footwear industry,” Beth Goldstein, footwear and accessories analyst at NPD, said in a statement. “After three years of ups and downs, we can expect sales and price trends will level out as consumers settle into their now-familiar lifestyles and make strategic choices about their must-haves versus their nice-to-haves, as they continue to grapple with macroeconomic pressures.”
In response to lackluster sales, shoe company executives have made some cutbacks in recent months. A 2022 survey from the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America found that 87% of executive respondents predicted lower shoe sales in the second half of 2022. As a result, two-thirds of respondents at the time said they wouldn’t hire more employees, and a majority said they had halted capital expenditures.
Indeed, footwear was one of the categories that took a backseat for consumers due to inflation concerns. A survey released in November by AlixPartners found that 43% of women and almost a third of men deprioritized shoe shopping because of inflation woes. Eight in 10 respondents said they would switch retailers to save money on their shoe purchases, suggesting consumers care more about price over brand loyalty, AlixPartners found. Meanwhile, another survey from PowerReviews found that 84% of respondents considered price when buying clothes and shoes online, the highest out of a number of different criteria.