Port Washington, NY—Late trending back to school sales have seen had a kick, or rather kicks.
For the 14 weeks ended Sept. 20, sales of athletic and outdoor footwear were up 5$ to $3 billion versus 2013, as the industry continued at its brisk pace stepping into autumn, according to global information company The NPD Group.
Dollar sales reached $468.5 million between Labor Day and the first week of fall (3 weeks ending September 27), a 9% increase compared to the same period last year, with the basketball category experiencing the largest growth at 48%, accounting for nearly one-quarter of total athletic footwear sales.
Basketball footwear also saw increases in both unit sales and average retail price compared to the same time period last year, at 31% and $9, respectively.
“Back-to-school shopping shifted this year to include September, which contributed to the September surge in footwear sales. Retailers can learn from this example of how today’s consumers are in the ‘need now, buy now’ mindset,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Basketball shoe sales in particular are a great example of just how different the consumer shops today, and how the sneaker culture has shifted over the past couple of years.”
Preparing for Fall
As winter approaches, consumers evidently are focusing on cold weather gear, such as outdoor footwear categories including Hiking, Rain Boots/Galoshes, and Winter/Snow Boots. All these categories saw substantial jumps in their September sales, whether bouncing back from a prior year’s decline, or adding more thrust to continuous growth.
“Colder weather is approaching, and so is the desire for the products that keep us warm,” said Cohen. “This considerable jump in outdoor footwear sales over the past year can largely be attributed to the fact that consumers today, more than ever before, are looking to buy footwear that does more than just go for a hike or plow through snow, but is functional for their casual and outdoor lifestyle,” said Cohen. “Designers today are appealing to consumers by doing precisely that: offering practical weather and season-specific footwear that is also fashionable, and can be worn outdoors as well as in the workplace.”
About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining data assets with unmatched industry expertise, NPD helps clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food/foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games. www.npd.com