According to a National Sporting Goods Association Market Survey, retail sales of athletic footwear slipped 4.4% during the six-month period, October 2002 through March 2003. Sales for the six-month reporting period were $6.24 billion versus $6.52 billion for the same period the previous year.
Seven of the 24 types of sport and athletic footwear covered in the survey showed sales increases during the six-month period. Bowling shoes (+14%), skateboarding shoes and baseball/softball shoes (both +11%), cheerleading
shoes (+9%), basketball shoes (+7%), hunting boots (+2%) and tennis shoes
(+1%) showed positive results when compared to sales during the same period
one year ago.
Eight footwear categories experienced double-digit declines, led by trail
running shoes (-22%), aerobic shoes (-19%), soccer shoes and golf shoes
(both -18%), track shoes (-13%), and sport sandals (-12%).
“Despite the highly promotional pricing strategies used by many retailers
during this period, unit sales mirrored dollar volume,” said NSGA Vice
President of Information & Research Thomas B. Doyle. “Of the 24 types of
athletic and sport footwear, 14 posted declines in unit sales for the period
versus last year.
“The Association had projected a 2% increase in athletic footwear sales for
2003. Ground needs to be made up if that projection is to be met,” Doyle
The largest categories — in terms of dollars spent by consumers during this
six-month period — were walking shoes ($1.54 billion), cross training shoes
($824.1 million), running/jogging shoes ($774.4 million) and gym
shoes/sneakers ($658.0 million). All four categories experienced both unit
and dollar declines compared to the previous year.
For the six-month reporting period, full-line sporting goods stores
accounted for 12.5% of athletic footwear, an increase from 12.1% last year.
Specialty athletic footwear stores and discount stores lost market share in
athletic shoe categories. Specialty athletic footwear stores claimed 12.5%
of the athletic footwear market versus 12.8% the previous year; discount
stores, 22.0% versus 23.3% the previous year.
Online/internet sales were 2.8% of the total athletic footwear market, up
from 2.1% the previous year.
To gather the data, NSGA surveys a total of 40,000 households — 20,000
households twice a year. The athletic footwear categories covered include
aerobic, baseball/softball, basketball, boat/deck, bowling, cheerleading,
cross training, cycling, fashion, fitness, football, golf, gym
shoes/sneakers, hiking, jogging/running, skateboarding, soccer, sport
sandals, tennis, track, trail running, walking and water sports.
The full report on the athletic footwear market will be part of the “The
Sporting Goods Market in 2004,” which will be available from the National
Sporting Goods Association in May 2004. The current Sporting Goods Market
report provides footwear data for the 12-month period of October 2001
through September 2002. For information on NSGA research, contact Thomas B. Doyle, National Sporting Goods Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.