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NPD Breaks Down October Athletic Footwear Sales

Historically a soft month when it comes to U.S. athletic footwear sales, NPD Group reports this past October was on the upswing, thanks in part to balmy weather across much of the nation that helped fuel a nearly 25 percent increase in sport leisure footwear sales, the largest category overall. Athletic footwear sales for the month grew 6 percent in dollars and 7 percent in unit sales, with a 1 percent decline in average selling price to reflect the promotional environment. With regard to the latter stat, NPD says October was “extraordinary” in terms of the depth and breadth of promotions.

By wearer, sales gains were across the board, with men’s athletic footwear up 6 percent in dollars, women’s rising 4 percent and kids spiking 9 percent. The record warmth, however, hit cold weather footwear hard—sales plummeted more than 20 percent, and hiking/trekking sales fell 9 percent. NPD reports that boots are already hitting the sales racks. Performance categories (running, basketball and cross training) also lost traction in October. Sales all were down for the month, despite heavy promotions.

As for where the brands ranked, NPD reports that Nike had a small gain as growth in sport leisure offset a decline in running. Jordan sales grew by more than 25 percent, as retro releases were moved earlier this year. Converse sales declined in the low teens. Meanwhile, Adidas continued its recent run of success as the brand captured 10 percent market share for the month. Under Armour and Skechers both experienced small gains, while Brooks had a strong month with sales up more than 25 percent. Last but not least, Vans sales grew in the low teens, which builds on its solid growth over the past year.

It never gets Old Skool: Vans classics like the Checkerboard continue to sell strong this fall.

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