29 Jun Retail Insights: Current Footwear Fashion Trends
Retail Insights: Current Footwear Fashion Trends: FDRA’s Interview With Beth Goldstein of the NPD Group
Beth Goldstein, Executive Director, Industry Analyst, Accessories & Footwear, has been following the Fashion Footwear and Accessories industries for more than 10 years. Beth advises clients on how to turn information from The NPD Group’s Consumer Tracking Service and Retail Tracking Service into actionable insights. We spoke with Beth about the current state of fashion footwear retail and some hot trends she is seeing today.
- What are some hot fashion trends you see as we start the summer?
Well, it’s funny to call this “hot,” but comfort is in right now. Contoured footbeds more traditionally used by the core comfort players have found their way into the assortments of more fashion forward brands. And, the popularity of athletic styling has manifested itself in the details of this season’s sandals – like sporty, sneaker-like bottoms. So the comfort and athleisure trends have reallymeshed together to create some appealing styles.
- Any particular brands or styles that are doing particularly well right now?
Non-performance sneakers, led by Nike, Brand Jordan, Converse and Vans. Also, Skechers is winning with its active-casual styles. On the fashion side, Birkenstock continues to be one of the most popular brands right now, and gladiator-inspired sandals are back, as well as other strappy styles and espadrilles. Lastly, casual ankle boots for men and women were strong throughout the spring.
- What segments of the marketplace are doing well – we know NPD Group tracks men, women, children sales as well as various age groups, so what should we be looking at for growth in 2015?
According to NPD’s Consumer Tracking Service, the U.S. Footwear Market totaled almost $64B in sales for the 12 months ended May ’15, up +3% vs. the prior 12 months. Men’s, women’s, and children’s are all growing right now. In terms of age segments, we are still seeing the growth come mainly from both the Millennial segment (18-34), as well as consumers 55+. And of course, the online business (up +8% in units, +10% in dollars) is making up for slower brick & mortar store sales (down -1% in units, up +2% in dollars) as traffic continues to be a challenge. Just under 25% of U.S. footwear dollar sales are now generated online, which is really significant.
- Retail numbers for footwear have looked rather sluggish over the past month. Is that what you are seeing, and will that continue the rest of the summer?
This spring, we saw a boost in March, perhaps due to pent-up demand from the long winter and newness that hit the floor after the port delays were resolved. April was weaker compared to last year, but May picked-up again. It’s a mix. Consumers are looking for “wear-now”so the balance of the season will depend on whether the seasonal and transitional items remain available rather than rushing fall product.
- FFaNY and FN Platform are coming up soon – what are your go-to shoes when you are walking the trade show floors?
That’s a tough one. At just over 5 feet, I could use some height, but all that walking during the shows makes wearing heels difficult.I usually go for wedges or sturdy block heels – sandals in the summer and boots in the winter, but sometimes I’ll just have to do a flat. Dressing for the trade shows is not easy! Vegas in particular – in the summer it’s 100 degrees outside but freezing inside so that has to factor into the head-to-toe wardrobe as well.