Fashion and Performance Categories Expected To Help Footwear Sales Recover in 2021
Fashion and performance footwear will boost dollar sales for the industry in 2021, though sales will remain below 2019 levels, according to the NPD Group. The fashion category, which was the hardest hit by the pandemic, is expected to see renewed sales in 2021 as consumers gradually return to some of their pre COVID behaviors. Demand for fashion footwear is likely to be reignited by a return to offices and store reopenings although it is expected that the focus will remain on casual and comfortable styles. The increasing focus on comfort is also expected to lead to a strong performance for the women’s slippers category in 2021.
The pandemic has led to a greater focus on health and fitness among consumers and it is likely that this trend will continue into 2021. Performance footwear is expected to see strong demand in 2021 as a result. Growth in the performance footwear category will be largely driven by a demand for road running shoes as more consumers turn to road running as a way to stay active while remaining socially distant. According to the US Commerce Department, US footwear imports fell by 27.5% in value year over year in the first eight months of 2020. This decline in footwear imports could provide a valuable opportunity for US footwear manufacturers in 2021.
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