While the Dow Jones and NASDAQ might have ended down on the last day of the year, 2014 was a much better year for the market as a whole, and sets 2015 up for growth.
The S&P 500 ended the year positioned strong, up 11.4 percent — the sixth consecutive year of gains.
Footwear had a tough but fruitful year in business. While the Polar Vortex of 2014 offered gains in boots and e-commerce clicks, companies struggled to clear inventory at the start of the year due to the weather. The all-important back-to-school season was a mixed bag, but holiday is shaping up to be stronger than past years.
Athleisure continued to drive trends and focus for many brands, and it showed in the companies making the largest gains. Under Armour Inc.’s share price spiked after the company debuted more-innovative, in-demand product and expanded into women’s and brand-owned retail.
But Nike remains the unstoppable footwear giant, putting up impressive revenue figures each quarter and churning out more in-demand sneaker styles.
Skechers’ family-friendly mix continued to resonate with shoppers, ultimately boosting the company’s stock profile, and retailers Foot Locker Inc. and Genesco Inc. benefited from trends.
Brown Shoe also hit the right fashion strides with its brand and value mix, and Decker’s continued to accelerate thanks to reinvestment in the Ugg brand and increasing focus on outdoor and athletic brands owned by the company.
There were challenges however. Crocs continued to struggle in 2014, though with a new CEO and direction, it is poised to further recover in 2015.
Steve Madden and DSW saw a dip in their 2014 share prices, namely thanks to a lack of trends in the women’s category — a struggle for apparel and footwear in the past several seasons. Adidas also failed to strike the right chord with the U.S. consumer during the World Cup.
2015 promises to continue the economic recovery, though the rate of growth for the housing market and job gains and overall health of the middle class will affect the view from market watchers. Overall global pressures from Europe, Japan and the health of emerging markets will also be important to the markets.
Below is the roundup of share prices at the start and end of 2014, along with the 52-week highs and lows.
Footwear Brands Share Prices 2014
|Brand||Jan. 2, 2014 Price||Dec. 31, 2014 Price||52-Week High||52-Week Low||52-Week Change|