Is The West Coast Really the Best Coast? NPD Group Reports On Fashion Footwear Sales in Los Angeles and New York

Port Washington, NY, April 16, 2013 – The NPD Group, Inc., a global information company, has released its Retail Tracking Service Store Level Data to report on the top U.S. fashion footwear markets. New York and Los Angeles are ranked as the top two markets.  While the total U.S. market saw no sales growth, the New York market grew in sales 2 percent year ending January 2013 vs. the prior year; total sales were down in Los Angeles 3 percent during the same time period.

The total women’s fashion footwear market was flat during the year ending January 2013 vs. the prior year.  Sales of the women’s segment grew slightly in New York, but were soft in Los Angeles.  

Women’s Fashion Footwear New York vs. Los Angeles
12 Month Ending January 2013

  $ Market Share of Total U.S. % Change vs. Prior Year
Total U.S. 100% 0%
New York 9% 2%
Los Angeles 6% -5%

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service / Store Level Data

The strength in the New York women’s market was due to top sellers – pumps, ballerina/skimmers, and slip-on/loafers, which more than offset the decline in sneakers. Very weak sales of sneakers drove the Los Angeles women’s market down, and while ballerinas/skimmers posted double-digit growth, it was not enough to push Los Angeles into positive territory.

Women’s Fashion Footwear Top Five Styles New York vs. Los Angeles
Dollar Percent Change
12 Month Ending January 2013

New York % Change vs. Prior Year Los Angeles % Change vs. Prior Year
Fashion Boots

2%

Fashion Boots

-2%

Pumps

13%

Pumps

4%

Ballerina/Skimmers

19%

Ballerina/Skimmers

11%

Slip-On/Loafers

25%

Slip-On/Loafers

-1%

Sneakers

-14%

Sneakers

-23%

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service / Store Level Data

Total men’s fashion footwear dollar sales were stronger than women’s, up 3 percent during the year ending January 2013 vs. the prior year, with New York helping to drive the business. In Los Angeles although men’s fashion footwear out-performed women’s, the market still ended up in negative territory.

Men’s Fashion Footwear New York vs. Los Angeles
12 Month Ending January 2013

  $ Market Share of Total U.S. $ % Change vs. Prior Year
Total U.S. 100% 3%
New York 10% 3%
Los Angeles 6% -3%

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service / Store Level Data

In Los Angeles, four out of the top five men’s styles drove dollar sales declines – while core styles in New York for men – oxfords and slip-ons/loafers – contributed to the increase dollar sales.

Men’s Fashion Footwear Top Five Styles New York vs. Los Angeles
Dollar Percent Change
12 Month Ending January 2013

New York $ % Change vs. Prior Year Los Angeles $ % Change vs. Prior Year
Sneakers

1%

Sneakers

-4%

Oxfords

5%

Oxfords

1%

Slip-On/Loafers

8%

Slip-On/Loafers

-3%

Work Boots

-4%

Work Boots

-12%

Hiking

-3%

Hiking

-6%

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service / Store Level Data

“The data shows just how critical it is to understand the differences of regions and how demographics influence fashion footwear choices,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “When footwear trends get dressier certain cities will lag in growth and vice versa. It is very important for retailers to understand these cycles and the results, as not all cities are created equal when doing some serious sole searching.”

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