Average sneaker prices in March 2023 rose to record levels in the U.S. by 12.3 percent since 2020 but followed closely by deepening retail discounts, according to the USA Sneaker Market Index compiled by Centric Pricing*.

Key takeaways from the Index include:

  • Sneaker retail prices are at their highest since January 2020 and have risen by 12.3 percent on average;
  • According to Centric’s data, prices averaged $126.89 across the category in March 2023. In the year-ago timeframe, the price averaged $118 in March 2022, $116 in March 2021 and $114 in March 2020;
  • Significant price increases were seen during 2022, with average sneaker prices in the U.S. rising by 4.6 percent;
  • Sneaker prices have risen again sharply since the beginning of 2023, with a similar rise of 4.3 percent; and
  • Compared year on year, the average original price of sneakers in Q1 2023 is 5.9 percent higher than in Q1 2022; however, the price increases are not aligned with greater sell-through at full price, with discounts reaching the highest levels since the pandemic.

The USA Sneaker Market Index findings on discounting indicate the following:

  • Rising with increased prices, the depth of discounting in the U.S. sneaker market grew in 2022, unwinding the progress made since March 2021. Discounting is at its highest average since March 2021;
  • Over the last two quarters (Q4 2022 and Q1 2023), the average discount per item increased 42.7 percent year on year compared to Q4 2021 & Q1 2022;
  • In 2023, discounts to date across the sneaker market are at an average of 9.1 percent; and
  • Nearly one-third of sneakers in 2023 have been on sale at a discount. Over the same period in 2022, this stood at less than one-quarter.

Commenting on the data in the report Elizabeth Shobert, director of Retail Market Intelligence and Research at Centric Software, said, “The data throws up some interesting trends. Brands and retailers are PricingPricing sneakers higher and higher, which is not surprising when we consider the wider context of inflation and its impact on raw material, shipping and energy costs. However, higher original prices are not being followed by sales at full price as consumers face discretionary spending pressure.

“The breadth and depth of discounting in the USA sneaker market is noticeably increasing,” Shobert continued. “Brands and retailers are being pushed to drop prices in order to move aging inventory. To navigate the ongoing volatility, companies will need to do a better job at predicting trends and focus more on producing exactly the products that consumers want, and in the right amounts; planning more targeted assortments by channel and store; and using resources more efficiently to control design and production costs.”

*The data compiled in the USA Sneaker Market Index report came from Centric Pricing, formerly StyleSage, which gathers and analyzes pricing data to identify market trends and provide competitive benchmarking. Centric Pricing last updated its data on March 2023. The data was collected from e-commerce listings for sneaker products across the U.S. market.

Photo courtesy Nike x Comme des Garçons