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Germany: footwear sales rose in 2023 but not yet to pre-pandemic levels

Mar 22, 2024 Germany
Germany: footwear sales rose in 2023 but not yet to pre-pandemic levels
Despite a series of bankruptcies, footwear retail sales in Germany increased in 2023 by around 4% to 11.6 billion euros. However, they still remain below pre-pandemic levels
According to initial estimates by the German Textile Shoes Leather Goods Trade Association (BTE), footwear retail sales in Germany rose last year by around 4%, or 480 million euros, to 11.6 billion euros (including VAT). “However, sales are still almost 1.5% below the pre-pandemic level of 2019” said the BTE managing director Axel Augustin at the HDS/L press conference in the Shoes trade fair in Düsseldorf.  

Sales in stores have risen by almost 8% but are still around 6% lower than in 2019. “However, we are seeing major differences across the retail sector, depending on location or business concept. The spectrum ranges from record sales to business closures or bankruptcies due to the sharp rise in costs and large asset losses during the forced Corona closures”, added Augustin.

Around 170 shoe retailers will have closed their doors for good by 2023 – some due to insolvency, some voluntarily, for example because there is no one to take over.

Mail order and online retail lost sales last year. However, due to the strong upturn in the corona years 2020 and 2021, the BTE estimates that it will be around 40% higher than in 2019. “We assume that mail order accounted for almost a quarter of the total footwear market last year”.

Footwear retailers are very cautious about their sales expectations for 2024. A recent BTE survey shows that only a quarter of respondents expect a significant increase in sales, another quarter expects sales to remain at around the same level as 2023 and just under half fear a fall of at least 1%.


Image Credits: smartorial.men

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