Q. Is the footwear industry on the edge? / Fiona Wyatt

Salman Khan_Relaxo_Hawaiin_Talking Mens Shoes


It has been 5 years since the Global Financial Crisis, and economic recovery is well overdue. The IMF cited that the two most likely global risks for economic resilience is, fiscal imbalances and income disparity. The Footwear industry has certainly been impacted by both. 

You should include adverse weather, which has seen winter collections and summer collections selling so slow, that sales have been the feature of most retailers for far too long.

According to Euromonitor.com - Apparel and footwear has seen an hourglass consumption shape for 2013. This means that consumers are paying for premium and economy products over the mid price products.

The pattern appears to be, that the little growth in 2013, was not in Europe. Look at these figures from Europe:

  • Italy had unemployment levels of 12% in general, and 35% amongst the young.
  • Switzerland’s low temperatures resulted in retailers selling summer products cheap.
  • The men’s footwear section was hardest hit in the Netherlands, men did not spend as much on athletic shoes in favour of pairing up smart/casual look.
  • Pretty much the same could be said for Spain, France, Greece, Portugal.
  • The few glimmers of hope came from Austria, Finland and Poland who all saw an increase of 1% in their apparel and footwear sales.

The rest of the world fared better, however still painting a picture of cautious sales.