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Sneaker Sales Continue to Tumble in the US Amid the Coronavirus Crisis

The coronavirus crisis continues to bring U.S. sneaker sales to a standstill.

The NPD Group Inc. senior sports industry adviser Matt Powell revealed on Twitter today that sales of athletic footwear declined 76% in the fourth week of March. The final full week of the month fared worse than the one prior, which NPD announced on Tuesday was down 65% compared to the same week in 2019.

At the time, Powell said the week ending March 21 was “a real turning point in the evolving story of U.S. athletic footwear sales amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The industry insider also stated today the market’s largest categories, sport lifestyle and running, declined mid 70%.

Specific to running, several leading brands in the market including Brooks, Saucony and Altra have shifted their social media efforts to promote shopping at local specialty run stores given people’s desire to run to stay fit while gyms are closed.

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Despite these efforts, Powell said today that there is no sign of a running boom in terms of merchandise sales.

Other categories that were hit exceptionally hard were basketball and skate shoes, which Powell said were down almost 80%, and spring sport footwear — including baseball, football and soccer — dropped nearly 100%.

The insider concluded his Twitter thread by stating despite sales shifting to online, it will not offset the sales declines suffered with brick-and-mortar retail temporarily shuttered.

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