Home Blog 2020 A Turning Point for Athletic Footwear Sales amid COVID-19
Mar 31, 2020

Sneakernomics: A Turning Point for Athletic Footwear Sales amid COVID-19

Subscribe to our blog

The third week of March was a real turning point in the evolving story of U.S. athletic footwear sales amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As sneaker retailers closed their doors, whether voluntarily or under lockdown, sales began to fall. In the week ending March 21, athletic footwear sales were down by 65% compared to the same week last year, with all the major and hottest brands facing declines. Sport lifestyle and skate, the categories that were trending the best before the pandemic, also each declined by more than 60%.

The hardest hit categories were those tied to youth spring sports. Across the nation, scholastic spring sports have been cancelled or postponed. American football, soccer, and baseball shoes all experienced sales declines of more than 90%. This does not bode well for the parallel sports equipment categories and retailers who sell such products.

While articles are reporting that more people are running outside since they can’t/won’t go to the gym to work out, thus far NPD data does not show any lifts in running shoe sales. In the week ending March 21, running shoe sales were down by nearly 70%. Performance basketball shoes saw declines of more than 70%.

As long as the majority of physical stores remain shuttered, I cannot expect these athletic footwear trends to abate. While some sales have likely shifted online and given a boost to retailers’ and brands’ e-commerce businesses, this is still not sizable enough to compensate and reverse these trends. I will continue to keep a pulse on the athletic footwear and broader sporting goods markets for you in the weeks ahead.  

 

Source: The NPD Group/ Weekly Retail Tracking Service/ Week Ending March 21, 2020
Note: Data does not include full price brand stores, brand outlets, and brand.com’s or the run specialty channel.



Stay current in your industry
SUBSCRIBE

Related Content

Tagged: Sports


Sneakernomics: Golf and Team Sports Equipment Recap of 2020 Results
Sneakernomics: Golf and Team Sports Equipment Recap of 2020 Results

Sales in some categories recovered nicely during summer, helping 2020 sales for golf as well as tennis equipment, basketball hoops, and training aids, among others, to grow.

Sneakernomics: Recap of Athletic Footwear and Activewear’s 2020 Performance
Sneakernomics: Recap of Athletic Footwear and Activewear’s 2020 Performance

Matt Powell recaps how sneaker and sport footwear sales as well as activewear fared in the unconventional year of 2020, and which categories hold opportunity ahead.

Sneakernomics: 2021 Outlook for Sports Retail
Sneakernomics: 2021 Outlook for Sports Retail

2021 will be faced with its own set of challenges to overcome, and opportunities to be had across the sporting goods, outdoor, recreation, and fitness markets.

Sneakernomics: Growth Opportunities for Sports Retail Heading into 2021
Sneakernomics: Growth Opportunities for Sports Retail Heading into 2021

Amidst the uncertainty, there remain plenty of positive opportunities for the outdoor, sports and fitness equipment, and athletic footwear markets in 2021.

Newsletter

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

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice. | Cookie Settings