Home Blog 2018 Holiday 2018 Predictions for Sports Retail
Nov 7, 2018

Sneakernomics: Holiday 2018 Predictions for Sports Retail

Subscribe to our blog

Sneakernomics: Holiday 2018 Predictions for Sports Retail

This holiday season will see some challenges for the overall U.S. sports retail environment. But, there are still some bright spots that I anticipate will be areas of growth for the market this season.   

Starting with the not-so-great news, athletic footwear sales in the U.S. were down for August and September compared to these same months last year. At the moment, I see no catalyst to drive overall sales back into the positive column for holiday. Performance footwear continues to struggle, now into its fourth year, and I do not expect this to change during the holiday period. Brands continue to push performance shoes on consumers who have clearly said they are not interested. The sport leisure category was soft in September, on account of a sales decline for sport lifestyle footwear; gains in the running inspired and casual athletic segments could not quite offset the decline in basketball inspired products.

Adidas sales went negative for September and I anticipate this will remain so for the balance of the year. Nike, Brand Jordan, and Converse sales were down for the month as well. Without growth from these major brands, the athletic footwear market cannot grow.

The top-selling shoe for the last two years, Nike Tanjun, also posted a decline for September. At this point, I do not believe there is a replacement for this shoe and the industry is lacking a hot item that can lift it. This void will put pressure on the entire market.

On the other hand, there are some bright spots for the athletic footwear industry, one of which has been the success of smaller brands. Vans, Puma, Reebok, Fila, and Brooks are all outperforming the market. Small is the new big, and I expect these brands will be popular and perform well this holiday. Another bright spot is the women’s business. As the industry has vastly underserved women, the women’s footwear market remains our greatest failure, but it is also our greatest opportunity.  

In terms of activewear, or athletic apparel, sales were up slightly for Q3 and flat for August and September. I expect we will see a similar outcome for the holiday period.

Cold weather products sold well in Q3 as the inventories are very clean and fresh. However, the long range weather forecast is for a period of warm and dry weather, which will hold back any real gains for the category during Q4.

Just as in athletic footwear, smaller brands are succeeding in the activewear market. These are the ones we should look out for this season. 

I expect the sports marketplace across both footwear and apparel to remain very promotional for Holiday 2018, as it has been for most of 2018 and last holiday season. If brands and retailers want to win with consumers this holiday, they must be careful to not sacrifice quality. Now more than ever, the sports industry needs a hot item.

Source: The NPD Group/ Retail Tracking Service


Stay current in your industry
SUBSCRIBE

Related Blog Posts

Tagged: Sports


VSCO Girls: How A Consumer Group Born on Social Media Has Cross-Industry Implications
VSCO Girls: How A Consumer Group Born on Social Media Has Cross-Industry Implications

The VSCO girl subculture took hold this summer and has created opportunities for products and brands in a variety of industries including apparel, beauty, fashion accessories, footwear, sporting goods and technology. We asked our industry analysts to weigh in regarding the implications and opportunities for their industries.

Let’s Grow the Pie, Not Fight for the Last Slice
Let’s Grow the Pie, Not Fight for the Last Slice

The NFL’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods’ investments in flag football, and cycling’s strategic focus on e-bikes are examples pointing to opportunities to find new growth by boosting interest in a category and inviting participation versus direct brand competition.

Sneakernomics: Holiday 2019 Predictions for Sports Retail
Sneakernomics: Holiday 2019 Predictions for Sports Retail

Matt Powell predicts that the lack of truly “hot” items is a void that will put pressure on the athletic footwear and activewear markets. On the other hand, he anticipates a merrier performance stemming from smaller brands in the space, and from some outdoor and sports equipment categories.

Sneakernomics: Athletic Footwear and Activewear Third Quarter Results
Sneakernomics: Athletic Footwear and Activewear Third Quarter Results

NPD’s Matt Powell reviews the performance of athletic footwear and activewear categories during the third quarter of 2019. From casual and performance sneakers to athletic attire, this blog looks at where the industry currently stands and could potentially be heading.

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.