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May Athletic Footwear Overview

June 29, 2017 - NPD Group

May Athletic Footwear Overview

At -2% to last year, May was a disappointing month for athletic footwear sales in the U.S. One theory on this performance is that May is primarily a clearance month. The dreadful February trend caused several retailers to cancel orders and this may have resulted in less clearance inventory leftover in May.

Additionally, the industry still faced some residual sales from The Sports Authority bankruptcy, which had a sales impact. Another factor is the heightened off-price activity, which may help drive unit sales while suppressing dollar sales.

Sales were down in the low single-digits in both dollars and units for May 2017 versus 2016, with average selling price flat for the month.

While we won’t really know where we stand in terms of sales trend until October, especially given the macro trends at work as well, in the shorter term, we expect this back-to-school season to be extremely promotional.

By Wearer

Kids’ sales were down double-digits, and I believe that basketball waning off the fashion cycle played into this. Men’s sales were down in the low singles while the women’s market grew.

By Category

The classics category declined by 1 percent for the month, which is well off the previous trend. Jordan retro sales were down, and Adidas experienced a slight decline as Superstar has started to plateau.

Performance basketball was marginally better, but still down double digits. Nike and Under Armour basketball both saw declines.

Running sales declined by 6 percent. All the technical brands struggled. This mirrors the softness seen in the running specialty channel.

Casual athletic grew nearly 40 percent. Slides were up almost 20 percent, while outdoor sandals grew in the mid-teens.

By Brand

Nike brand sales declined in the mid-single digits. Nike, Inc. sales overall declined in the low teens as its brands were particularly weak in the casual athletic, basketball, and running categories.

Adidas sales grew by 74 percent. While Adidas classics leveled out, casual athletic tripled for the month.

Under Armour footwear sales dropped by 19 percent.

Skechers athletic declined in the mid-single digits. Puma sales were nearly flat for the month.

The NPD Group’s U.S. Athletic Footwear Industry Sales
Reporting Period May 2017 versus May 2016
Dollar Sales May’16 May’17 CHG
Total U.S. Athletic Footwear Sales $1.19B $1.17B -2%
Men $611.4M $601.1M -2%
Women $331.1M $337.7M 2%
Children $252.2M $226.8M -10%
Brand Performance Dollar Share Dollar % Change
May 2017 Top 5 Casual Athletic Brands
Adidas 23% 209%
Skechers 20% 39%
Converse 12% 0%
Sperry 4% 34%
Keds 2% 2%
Copyright 2017. The NPD Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary and Confidential.
The information in this report comes from The NPD Group’s monthly point-of-sale footwear database. It is collected from the athletic specialty, sporting goods, chain store, department store, and other channels.
Athletic footwear includes the following categories: Sport Leisure, Outdoor, Performance, and Work/Occupational/Safety.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of FDRA.