World Footwear


General outlook for the footwear industry is optimistic

General outlook for the footwear industry is optimistic
This is the main outcome of the most recent edition of the World Footwear Business Conditions Survey, conducted during the month of April. Today we bring you a summary of some of the main conclusions
The most recent statistics for footwear trade show a positive picture of recovery of the footwear industry in 2021. When compared to 2020, imports increased in most of the main markets for footwear worldwide at moderate rates. However, inflationary pressures, increasing energy prices, and a war have comprised the initial projections of economic growth for this year. The latest projections of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank now estimate a softer growth of the world’s GDP in 2022.

The general outlook of this survey is nevertheless optimistic. Most of our panel members believe that, over the next six months, the quantity of footwear sold will increase moderately along with prices, which are expected to increase strongly. Naturally, the outlook regarding the evolution of prices may be reflecting the expected impact of increasing production costs. Most of our respondents also expect their business to have “strong” health in the coming months, and employment to increase.

The cost of merchandise and raw materials is singled out by our panel as the main difficulty for footwear business for the next six months. Human resource problems and financial difficulties come next but with much fewer references. Insufficient demand and competition issues are no longer at the forefront of the industry’s concerns, contrary to what happened in recent periods.

Asked about the evolution of footwear consumption worldwide in 2022, most of our panel members expect a moderate growth (between 1.5% and 5%) in comparison to 2021. Should our experts’ forecasts prove accurate, footwear consumption will grow 2.5% in North America, 5.2% in Europe, 6.8% in Africa, 7% in South America, and 8.9% in Asia, this year, on average, compared to 2021.

Our experts almost unanimously believe that footwear will not escape the inflationary pressures that are being felt worldwide: 97% state that it is either very likely or likely that the rapidly increasing prices of commodities and energy will have a significant impact on the prices of footwear in their countries.

Finally, in the current edition of this survey, we asked our panel of experts on their views regarding the impact of the war in Ukraine. More than two third of our experts believe this war is going to negatively impact the footwear business in their domestic markets.

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Executive Summary
Business Context
Health of the Business
Employment Level
Retail Channels
Average Growth of Footwear Consumption to Reach 5.9%
Footwear Prices Expected to Increase
War on Ukraine to Negatively Impact Footwear
About Survey

About the Survey
In 2019 the World Footwear has created the World Footwear' expert panel and is now conducting a Business Conditions Survey every semester.

The objective of the World Footwear Experts Panel Survey is to collect information regarding the current business conditions within the worldwide footwear markets and then to redistribute such information in a way it will provide an accurate overview of the situation of the global footwear industry.

The sixth edition of this online survey was conducted during the month of April 2022. We have obtained 108 valid answers, 48% coming from Europe, 22% from Asia, 14% and 9% from North and South America, respectively, and 7% from Africa. Half of respondents are involved in footwear manufacturing (manufacturers) or footwear trade and distribution (traders) – 32% and 18%, respectively – and the other half in other footwear-related activities, including trade associations (20%), consultancy, journalism, etc.

Previous Editions of this Bulletin can be found HERE