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After Weeks of Dramatic Declines, Sneaker Sales in the US May Be Leveling

New data suggests U.S. athletic footwear sales may be leveling.

The NPD Group Inc. senior sports industry adviser Matt Powell released a note this morning stating sales were down 73% for the week ended April 11. The data is slightly better than what the insider revealed the previous two weeks. According to Powell, sales dropped about 75% compared with the same period last year for the week ended April 4 and declined 76% for the fourth week of March.

In his note, Powell suggested the marginal increase could show signs that the U.S. sales decline may be leveling. (He explained that the data in this report is from NPD’s weekly retail tracking service and does not include brand direct-to-consumer or run specialty doors.)

Breaking down each major category, Powell said in his note that performance running performed slightly better that previous weeks with sales down about two thirds. Also, performance basketball shoes were down more than 80%, sport lifestyle footwear and skate shoes declined roughly 75% and spring sports footwear was down about 100%.

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From a brand perspective, Powell stated Nike, Jordan Brand, New Balance, Vans and Adidas all saw declines of more than 70%, while running label Brooks — which the expert said has consistently outperformed the market — experienced a 50% drop. Other major footwear companies including Under Armour, Skechers, Converse and Saucony experienced roughly 80% declines.

Powell also explained that although NPD is receiving reports that online sneaker sales are strong, it cannot offset what’s lost with brick-and-mortar closures.

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