A strong holiday season and the introduction of new footwear styles and trends in 2005 resulted in solid growth for the footwear industry.
According to leading consumer and retail information company The NPD Group, total US footwear sales were nearly $42 billion in 2005, a 9 percent increase over 2004. Last year, consumers purchased over 1.4 billion pairs of shoes, 5 percent more than in 2004.
According to NPD consumer data, women's total footwear sales topped $20 billion, an increase of 8 percent over 2004. Women weren't the only ones buying new shoes or boots last year; men went above and beyond the traditional black shoe and invested in high-end fashion and performance footwear. Men's footwear sales totaled $16 billion in 2005, an increase of 9 percent over 2004.
Author and NPD Chief Industry Analyst, Marshal Cohen said, "Footwear is on fire! Sales growths of footwear were three times greater than apparel; footwear has emerged as the new fashion item to buy.”
"Consumers are reaching to footwear to display their passion for fashion and to represent lifestyle. Footwear has become a new signature item for consumers."
The total fashion footwear segment posted an 11 percent increase in dollar sales in 2005. The dress casual shoe was a hot growth category for both men and women in the fashion footwear segment.
Sales in the athletic footwear segment increased three percent, driven by pure performance categories such as baseball, soccer and tennis. High-priced running and basketball shoes sold in price ranges above $80 saw double-digit dollar growth in the athletic specialty/sporting goods channel. This also helped to propel the athletic footwear segment in 2005.