Shoe sales are on the uptick and women continue to drive the business.
The overall U.S. footwear market — fashion and athletic together — grew 3 percent last year, reaching $54 billion in sales, according to The NPD Group Inc.
Dollar sales in women’s shoes increased 4 percent, while men’s grew by 2.4 percent and children’s grew by 3.8 percent.
NPD Group chief industry analyst Marshal Cohen predicted this trend in women’s shoes should continue through 2013.
“Even though the economy is sluggish, women will still opt to update their wardrobes,” Cohen said in a written statement. “Look for this need cycle to continue into spring and, as long as retailers showcase new merchandise worthy of consumer investment, women will continue to update their footwear collection.”
The report, which tracks both the athletic and fashion footwear markets, also revealed that sales online grew by more than 7 percent last year.