Nike, Adidas + Other Athletic Players Take Big Hit as Sneaker Sales Decline 75%

Athletic sales in the U.S. continue to decline dramatically as store closures hit the big brands hard.

Matt Powell, NPD Group Inc.’s senior sports industry adviser, said in a note that for the week ended April 4, sales dropped about 75% compared with the same period last year.

The data mirrors Powell’s findings from last week, which revealed that sales declined 76% in the fourth week of March.

In today’s analysis, Powell said Nike footwear sales were down about 75% for the last week of March, and there were similar declines for Adidas, Vans and New Balance. Sales for companies including Jordan Brand, Under Armour, Converse and Skechers took hits of more than 80%. The label that fared best, although still experiencing a drop in sales, was Brooks, with a decline of roughly 55%.

According to Powell, the market’s largest category, sport lifestyle footwear, dropped approximately 75%. He noted a similar decline was experienced with skate footwear.

Specific to running, leading brands such as 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. (Powell stated in the note that the data is from the NPD Group’s weekly retail tracking service and does not include numbers from the specialty running retail channel.)

Running and training shoes took a 70% hit, according to Powell, basketball shoes dropped more than 80% and shoe sales for the sports where cleated footwear is required — baseball, football and soccer — were nearly nonexistent, falling nearly 100%.

The market expert said NPD continues to receive reports of strong sneaker e-commerce business. But the uptick isn’t enough to offset what is lost with brick-and-mortar’s temporary closure.

Access exclusive content