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Four Insights on the Footwear Market

Four Insights on the Footwear Market
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Today we're giving you a preview of our upcoming in-depth report on the footwear market.  

So many things have happened in this market since we last did a deep dive, and there are many themes shaping the outlook for the footwear market including: the ongoing casualization of dress codes, a crowded landscape of brands, global economic downturn, and the happy return of occasions and travel.  So how are these impacting the market and how can brands be responsive to these external factors?  

We're highlighting several of our key findings below, and clients will be able to see the full report later this week inside the StyleSage platform.

Footwear prices increased an average of 13% during 2022

Here's a headline that will surprise no one: inflation had a significant impact on footwear prices. StyleSage data below shows that original prices for the footwear category increased by 13% between January and December 2022.  (The severity of this can be seen when we compare this with 3% inflation during 2021.)

But which categories of shoes saw the most and least inflation?  Further analysis shows that sandals had the greatest price increases at 14%, while sneakers had the smallest price increases at 8%.

Footwear sold out rates rebounded in 2022

While footwear started off 2022 on a slow note (with sold out rates below their 2021 levels), they rebounded in the back half of the year.  Between June and December 2022, sold out rates for the footwear category doubled - from 8% to 16% - demonstrating strength even as consumers were feeling the effects of months of inflation.

Sneakers lost share of the footwear category in 2022...

Recent headlines have highlighted the slowdown in the sneaker category.  It remains a resilient and - as you can see below - dominant force in footwear, yet it's ceded ground to other categories this past year.

Specifically we saw that sneakers went from 30% of category in 2021 down to 27% in 2022.  The categories capturing that share included sandals (+2 percentage points), boots (+1 percentage point), and heels (+1 percentage point).  The rebound of these footwear categories shows us that the occasion- and travel-driven shopping certainly returned in a major way in 2022.

...But certain types of sneakers are gaining ground

While brands like Nike and Adidas have long dominated the athletic and lifestyle sneaker category, they are facing challenges from challenger brands the likes of On Running, Salomon, and Asics.  What these challenger brands have in common is a niche focus and a strong emphasis on performance.  Despite these characteristics, these brands have been enthusiastically embraced by the non-athlete and fashion crowd.  Regardless, our data shows just how much these brands are growing in both awareness and wholesale penetration.

During the back half of 2022, brands including Salomon, Asics, Merrell, and On Running have nearly doubled in their sold out rates.  What's more, between the beginning of 2021 to now, these brands have increased their product counts by a whopping 74%, indicating their attractiveness to wholesale partners.

Ready to dive more into the footwear category?  Check your inboxes later this week for our full category report!

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