Fashion shoe sales down – but DTC sales continue to rise – Footwear News


Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the footwear industry has seen its sales drop in all categories. In total, fashion shoe sales fell 24% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, according to U.S. footwear data and news from The NPD Group. Additionally, in-store and online sales in the United States fell in March compared to 2019, by 50% and 15%, respectively.

But digital is clearly gaining ground. While physical stores were still open in January and February, the percentage of total fashion shoe sales generated online was 28%. In March, as physical locations began to close, that percentage rose to 39%.

Footwear brands’ direct-to-consumer sites gained the most online share, according to NPD. And although sales fell for department stores, they gained a share of the online shoe market in March.

In the future, the digital market share is expected to continue to increase due to the current situation.

“We can expect online penetration to become even higher, due to a few factors,” said Beth Goldstein, footwear and fashion accessories analyst at NPD. “In addition to April being a full month of quarantine and store closings, discounts and promotional activity accelerated quickly once retailers closed, helping to drive sales.”

For designer Fabrizio Viti, who runs his eponymous brand while designing shoes for Louis Vuitton, the industry’s resilience comes as no surprise. “I am optimistic,” he told FN. “I think I learned that from my mother and my family who went through the war. You have to be positive. He said the lack of quality products and the feeling of escape during this time was not exaggerated. And while there was a sharp drop in orders for fall 2020 from wholesale partners, he said, April turned out to be the strongest month for his direct-to-consumer business. consumers since its launch in January 2019.

As physical stores begin their reopening processes, security concerns and restrictions present potential for longer-term online shopping habits, NPD’s Goldstein concluded.

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