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Closing on a total plus

Closing on a total plus

Seasoned connoisseurs of the shoe market were surprised by the market data submitted by marketmedia24 in the run-up to the Düsseldorf shoe trade fair GDS (14 to 16 March) for the 2011 shoe year. According to this data Germans spent some 1.3% more on their footwear than they did in 2010 – defying a winter that felt like an Indian summer for far too long. The industry experts at retail consultancy BBE Handelsberatung in Munich know that the weather, in particular, put a damper on retailers’ mood after figures caused euphoria in German retail for quite some time.

For a long time there had been all smiles on the shoe market in 2011: footwear sales were up in line with womenswear sales. Market players, special-interest press and industry associations looked to another year of growth with optimism. Rightly so, because 2011 saw shoes worth EUR 8.676 billion being purchased (after a market volume of EUR 8.561 billion in 2010). “Nevertheless, winter merchandise proved a shelf warmer for many retailers for quite a while,” says shoe expert Peter Frank of BBE Handelsberatung in Munich. And when the time for something warm finally came spring merchandise had taken over the store windows while retail prices for winter styles had reached record lows. Sales to demand-driven shoppers were simply non-existent or postponed to spring 2012.

In the stricter sense and statistically speaking 2011 just about managed a positive verdict for specialist retail. Its market share was only down by 0.3 percentage points to 63.1 % (63.4 % in 2010) according to the marketmedia24 distribution analysis of the shoe market. Specialist retail even succeeded in consolidating its market position. “Fortunately, there is fashion,” wrote special-interest magazine TextilWirtschaft commenting on market trends. After all, fur and the like were must-haves for fashionistas even though the matching temperatures failed to materialise.

And so 2011 still closed as a good year and all those 15 product segments constantly updated on the shoe panel of the Cologne-based market researchers benefited from this: Women generated 2.7 % more turnover than in the previous year. And men also invested more in their footwear: They spent some EUR 28 million more than in 2010. After a dip in 2009 and the turnaround in 2010 even kids’ shoes, sports shoes and slippers continued to recover. The only declining market segment in 2011 was leisure footwear. Achieving a 8.6 % market share this segment was even below the crisis-year market volume of EUR 771 million in 2009.

Source: marktmedia24 (Cologne)

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