World Footwear


Footwear consumption to decline 22.5% in 2020 as supply chain gets re-organised

The World Footwear' experts panel is foreseeing a drop in global footwear consumption of 22.5% in the current year. Read the main conclusions on the impacts of Covid-19 in the footwear industry

Impact on Consumption

When questioned specifically about the impact of the epidemic on consumption, as compared to a no-epidemic scenario, our panel members, on average, are forecasting a 22.5% reduction, with some regional variation. Estimates for Europe (-27%) are a bit more pessimistic than for North America (-21%) and Asia (-20%).

Applying these forecasts to the consumption by continent reported in the World Footwear Yearbook 2019 would result in falls in footwear consumption in 2020 which could reach 696 million pairs in North America, 908 million in Europe and 2.4 billion in Asia.

Impact on the Supply Chain

When questioned about the impact of Covid-19 on the firms’ medium-term decisions regarding the location of footwear production, the members of the World Footwear' experts panel do not have many questions: changes are underway.

Less than one in five of our experts believes the epidemic will have no impact on the location of footwear production (unchanging the supply chain). Others split almost equally between the option that firms will prefer to disperse production by different countries (diversifying the supply chain) to minimize the risk of disruption in their supply chains, and the possibility that firms will prefer to locate production close to the consumer markets (shortening the supply chain).

Footwear: Quantities Sold and Prices

Since the previous edition of this bulletin, published in January, the Covid-19 epidemic has strongly weakened the world economy and the footwear business with it. This becomes now evident in our survey.

Most of the panel members believe that over the next six months the quantity of footwear sold will fall and prices will decrease. Perspectives are everywhere negative but particularly so in Europe, where 9 out of every 10 respondents expect the quantity of footwear sold to diminish.

World Footwear Business Conditions Survey Report

About the Business Conditions Survey

In 2019 the World Footwear has created the World Footwear' experts 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 second edition of this online survey was conducted during the month of March 2020. We have obtained 129 valid answers, 41% coming from Europe, 31% from Asia, 16% from North America and the remainder from other continents. Almost 40% of the respondents are involved in footwear manufacturing (manufacturers), 17% in footwear trade and distribution (traders) and 43% in other footwear-related activities such as trade associations, consultancy, journalism, etc. (others).