NPD Group: Children’s leads athletic footwear growth

NPD Group

Children’s is the fastest-growing segment of the US athletic footwear market, with sales up 12% by value in 2012, according to industry analyst The NPD Group.

The organization said total athletic footwear sales were fairly flat in volume terms, but rose 4% by value to $13.8 billion, thanks to an increase in average selling prices.

Cross-training, basketball, classics and running shoes all grew by volume and value, with the men’s segment remaining the largest revenue driver, increasing revenues by 6% and accounting for 51% of the market.

Children’s footwear was the fastest-growing segment by value and, while women’s declined, there was growth in cross-training and running shoes, posting revenues up 30% and 12% respectively.

“Today’s consumer typically will search for a deal while shopping for athletic footwear, but there are exceptions to that rule,” said Marshall Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD.

“When it comes to buying a new and innovative pair of shoes, consumers will spend more.”

Cohen pinpointed one factor behind the decline in the women’s segment: “The casual cold weather boot, which drove the women’s athletic footwear category two years ago, continued to decline in popularity in 2012,” he said.

“The industry is now focused on lightweight running shoes, which is good news for the women’s market since they continue to purchase them.”

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