Retail sales of sport footwear fell 4% for the six-month period, October 2001 through March 2002, according to data released by the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA). Sales for the six-month reporting period were $6.49 billion versus $6.75 billion for the same period the previous year.

“For the first half of our reporting year, the declines affected practically all of the 24 sport footwear categories surveyed,” NSGA Vice President of Information & Research Thomas B. Doyle said. “Only skateboarding shoes showed real strength, up 19%. Golf, basketball and soccer shoes showed modest gains.”

“The Association had projected a 1% increase in athletic footwear sales for 2002. Given the weak first six months of our survey period, it is unlikely we will reach that projection,” Doyle said.

For the six-month reporting period, sporting goods stores and specialty athletic footwear stores gained market share in sport shoe categories. Sporting goods stores claimed 12.1% of the sport footwear market versus 10.9% the previous year; specialty athletic footwear stores, 12.8% in 2001 versus 11.4% in 2000. Discount stores, department stores and factory outlets lost slight market share.

Online/internet sales were 2.1% of the total sport footwear market, up from 1.2% the previous year.

Fashion sneakers, a new category for the report, will be included in the final data for the current study.

To gather the data, NSGA surveys a total of 40,000 households — 20,000 households twice a year. The full report on the athletic footwear market will be part of the “The Sporting Goods Market in 2003,” which will be available from the National Sporting Goods Association in May 2003. The current Sporting Goods Market report provides footwear data for the 12-month period of October 2000 through September 2001. For information on NSGA research, contact Thomas B. Doyle, National Sporting Goods Association, 1601 Feehanville Drive, Suite 300, Mount Prospect, IL 60056. Phone: 847/296-6742, Ext. 107; e-mail: