Retailers to Promote Sports Leisure Footwear

BY Rachel Cagle
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"Footwear sales in the U.S. are forecasted to increase through 2021 on account of strong growth in the sport leisure category, according to The Future of Footwear, a new report from The NPD Group forecasting growth and declines across key categories. Furthermore, sport leisure (which is dominated by athletic-​inspired casual sneakers, and also includes sport slides and skate shoes) is expected to surpass fashion as the largest footwear category in 2020."

"Shifting fashion attitudes towards athleisure have benefited the leisure footwear space, at the expense of the fashion and performance segments. According to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service, in the 12 months ending August 2019, sport leisure footwear grew 7%, while fashion declined 5% and performance footwear sales were down 7%."

'I expect that in the upcoming years, more brands will effectively respond to the shift away from performance and fashion footwear to focus on what has become the new norm: athleisure footwear,' said Matt Powell, senior industry advisor, Sports, The NPD Group. 'The nature of fitness in the U.S. has changed, and this has been a major contributor to footwear market shifts. Consumers are committed to a healthy lifestyle, but that commitment is lighthearted. They no longer define themselves by their sports activities. As a result, consumers are looking for shoes that are less technical and instead more versatile and every day.'”

"Sport leisure’s growth is poised to be driven by running- and basketball-​inspired styles, which are shoes with a performance-​based heritage that are intended for style as opposed to sports activities. The men’s market is expected to lead the sales growth in sport leisure, with heavy contribution from kids as well."

Men's Footwear Shoppers may not be as active in sports themselves, but that doesn't mean they don't still watch events on TV. According to AudienceSCAN, they're 47% more likely than others to say sports is their favorite type of TV programming, and they enjoy watching NFL football, NBA basketball and MLB games. Additionally, within the last month, nearly half of these consumers used the internet to check sports scores. While they're keeping up with their favorite sports teams, Men's Footwear Shoppers can be targeted with a variety of ads, including TV commercials, both digital and over-​the-​air radio ads, both print and digital newspaper ads and text link ads on websites.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on athletic footwear/​apparel stores and shoe stores, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.