The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) analyzed recent government data on the footwear marketplace against historical trends and found new record highs on shoe sales. U.S. shoe store sales in July rocketed 8.7 percent—the biggest jump in five years. At a seasonally-adjusted $3.18 billion, July marks the best month ever for shoe stores as they outpaced big box retailers. (See chart below.) U.S. consumer spending on shoes in July across all channels also rose a year-over-year 5.6 percent (seasonally adjusted) to an annualized $83.9 billion. The footwear industry is now a record-high $84-billion industry.
“Footwear retailers are moving from a state of disruption to transformation,” states Matt Priest, FDRA president and CEO. “The last half of 2017 was hard as total sales in shoe stores declined every month, but now we have seen increases for the past four months culminating in a record high.” Priest adds that consumer spending on footwear also continues to jump, which he attributes in good part to the innovation in both product and shopping experiences. “We couldn’t be pleased more for the industry,” Priest says. “Retailers and brands have been working hard to innovate both product and experiences, and it seems that is now showing through at the same time consumer sentiment is rising. These latest numbers tell us the overall shoe store market will grow in 2018, against a narrative of the death of brick-and-mortar, and if the streak continues, total footwear spending could hit $85 billion this year.”