Declines Slow In Athletic Shoe Market

  • March 11, 2010
Sales in the athletic footwear market fell 1.4% in 2009, reports the NPD Group, a sign of shifting momentum -- in 2008, sales fell 3.2%. Men's footwear fell 3%, while women's gained 0.6%, girls', 0.6%, and boys', 1%. Sales of infant and toddler shoes dropped 4.8%.

The Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research group said the relative strength in women's came from sales of toning and shaping products. In the fourth quarter, overall casual athletic shoes gained 2.3%, hiking, 9.2%, and walking, an incredible 57%, driven by sales of toning and shaping footwear.

"Fourth quarter results, show the consumer's focus on footwear for holiday for the third consecutive year," it says in its release. "The footwear industry as a whole doesn't think of itself as a holiday business but these results indicate they might want to rethink their position."--Sarah Mahoney



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