Athletic Footwear Sharply Down in Europe

NEW YORK — Athletic footwear sales in the U.S. were slightly down in the last quarter, amid a tough economic and retail climate, but the European market took a more severe hit, according to recently released figures.
The NPD Group Thursday reported a 5 percent drop in athletic footwear sales in the three months ending September across the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Spain, compared with a 1.5 percent decrease in the U.S.

Despite the overall downturn on athletic footwear sales in Europe, sports footwear, including running shoes, increased about 5 percent.

“Businessmen will not give up their Sunday jogging when the going gets tough,” Renaud Vaschalde, NPD sport industry expert, said in a statement. “If you look at sales related to sport use, the dynamic of consumption is still there. … If you look at the market intended for casual use, the story is quite different.”

NPD reported that fashion and casual athletic footwear saw a 7 percent drop in sales.

In the U.S., sales of casual athletic footwear for adult men was up more than 8 percent, and men’s sports shoes were up more than 7 percent. All other age and gender groups were down.
European sales on athletic apparel dropped 8 percent, whereas the U.S. saw a 0.7 percent gain.

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