Despite the apparent lull, there was growth in some key areas.
Total sales in men’s and children’s climbed 3 percent, to $925.9 million, and 10 percent, to $467 million respectively. Leisure footwear, which includes gaiters, work shoes, casual athletic, outdoor sandals and cold/all-weather boots, saw the most robust gains, growing 16 percent year-over-year in February.
Overall sales in women’s shoes slid 6 percent and performance footwear sales (skate, running, walking, basketball, golf etc.) declined 3 percent.
It was fashion footwear revenue that took the biggest hit in February, according The NPD Group, slipping 9 percent year-over-year.
“This month proved to be a tough start to the retail season for true fashion footwear, as sneakers were the only major growth driver in February,” Beth Goldstein, executive director and industry analyst at The NPD Group, said. “However, the warm-weather teases that frequented this winter season may have put women in the mood to bare their toes earlier-than-usual this year.”
The NPD Group’s sports-industry analyst Matt Powell also noted that weather continued to have a major impact on footwear sales last month.
“February 2015 was very snowy and cold, which sparked sales of boots — a stark contrast compared to this February,” Powell explained. “The warm weather this year caused a decline in those cold weather-related categories. Once the delayed tax refunds were mailed, the sneaker business responded, growing in the mid-single digits for the month.”
Nike Inc., including brand Nike, Brand Jordan and Converse, saw sneaker sales grow in the high single digits and its share expanded 100 basis points to 65 percent, Powell said. Meanwhile Adidas continued its rebound, with sales up nearly a third for the month. Puma sales also grew by a third. Meanwhile, Under Armour nearly doubled its shoe sales and Skechers posted a mid-single digit decline.
*The information in The NPD Group’s report comes from its monthly point-of-sale footwear database. It is collected from the athletic specialty, sporting goods, chain store, department store, and other channels.