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Report: Shoe Sales Slip

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Findings from The NPD Group show dress footwear sales, but standouts in slippers and cold-weather boots.

In a recent report by The NPD Group, sales of footwear in Q3 fell slightly in Q3 (July-Sept.) of 2020, compared to the same time in 2019. 

According to “The NPD Group’s U.S. Footwear Industry Sales – Q3 2020” report, sales of fashion footwear such as dress and evening shoes dropped 28 percent compared to last year, but sales of performance footwear (like walking, basketball, and running footwear) dropped by 9 percent year-over-year. Leisure footwear, including skate, hiking boots and sport slides) only dropped by 1 percent.  

“Athletic footwear sales were down in the mid-single digits for the quarter, as the impact of the delayed/virtual back-to-school was felt,” says Matt Powell, senior industry advisor, sports, The NPD Group. “There were a few bright spots, however. In particular, the early sales uptick for cold/all-weather boots and hiking shoes bodes well for holiday. My expectation for Q4 is that overall sales will continue to remain challenged.”

“In Q3, slippers and clogs (Crocs) again were standouts, aligning well with consumers’ home-based lifestyle,” says Beth Goldstein, fashion footwear and accessories analyst, The NPD Group. “In addition, consumers began to snap up cold weather boots early, perhaps in anticipation of spending more time socializing outdoors this winter. These three areas will remain strong for the holiday. Lastly, although sales of casual sneakers suffered a bit from the unusual circumstances surrounding back-to-school, the category continued to gain share at the expense of fashion styles.”

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