Athletic Sneaker Sales Were Down in August, Report Says

Matt Powell of The NPD Group Inc. labeled athletic shoe sales as “disappointing” in his sport footwear overview for August, which the analyst released today.

According to Powell, sales were down in the low single digits in both dollars and units, which resulted in a flat average selling price. However, women’s footwear did well, increasing in sales in the mid-single digits. Both men’s and kid’s sales were down in low-single and mid-single digits, respectively.

Sport lifestyle sales, Powell said, slowed to low-single-digit growth, sport slides improved in the low teens, and skate shoes — thanks to a strong showing by Vans — grew roughly 40 percent.

And that’s the only category-based improvement in the marketplace.

Powell stated performance-based footwear declined, which included a low-teen drop in basketball sneaker and outdoor sandal sales.

Brands that didn’t perform well for the month include Under Armour, which saw a footwear sales drop of more than 25 percent, Asics (down roughly 25 percent) and Converse (a more than 20 percent decrease).

The report also stated athletic specialty and sporting goods stores struggled, down low single digits, and both midtier department stores and shoe chains were down in the mid-singles. But premium department store athletic footwear sales grew in the mid-single digits.

And Powell, the senior industry adviser for sports, told FN that he expects similar results in September.

“Given the 53rd-week shift, September will be challenging as a major week moved to August and a minor week from October moves to September,” Powell told FN. “I have low expectations for back-to-school 2018. The lack of a true hot item and far too much performance product forced on the market will weigh on results.”

But not everything about the marketplace in August was abysmal.

Worth noting are the sales growth of several brands for the month. Powell stated Vans grew more than 60 percent, Fila had a bump in the high teens, Brooks grew in the mid-teens, and both Puma and Reebok saw a mid-single-digit increase.

Also, Skechers athletic improved in the low single digits, Nike experienced low-single-digit sales growth (due to strong lifestyle results), and Adidas sales grew in the low single digits.

On Twitter, Powell confirmed that the Nike Tanjun is still the top-selling sneaker, even though sales have plateaued. The industry expert also stated he expects sales of the model to now go negative.

Nike Tanjun

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