World Footwear

World Footwear Retail Flash Reports

Spain Retail: concerns grow for retailers after an unexpected fall in sales

Premium ContentMay 24, 2024 / World Footwear Reports
While 2024 began with consistent, albeit modest (around 1% monthly) growth, a concerning trend emerged in March, with retail sales falling sharply by 7.9% as compared to the previous month. However, a silver lining remains. Fashion is currently the retail sector experiencing the least inflation, and consumers still hold some optimism about the overall economy. This suggests that a period of resilience may be needed from retailers, but a potential rebound could be on the horizon

Japan Retail: trade did not improve at the end of 2023, but a recovery is not out of the picture

Premium ContentApr 1, 2024 / Japan
As anticipated in the previous edition of the WF Retail Japan, trade (physical and online) did not improve at the end of 2023. What’s more, the country unexpectedly slipped into recession amid sluggish consumption and pressure on retail costs due to the weak yen. However, it’s expected that the easing of consumer inflation and the recovery of wages due to labour shortages could occur in the first half of 2024 and both consumer and retailer sentiment is on an upward trend. So perhaps a modest recovery could take place soon

US Retail: it’s all about the prices

Premium ContentFeb 28, 2024 / United States
There are signs that footwear retail sales could rise moderately in the near term, but this will all depend on future price behaviour. On the one hand, the CPI suggests that the risk of renewed price rises is well contained, but on the other hand, retailers continue to manage excess inventories, so their pricing power may not be more evident until 2024. Perhaps better news comes from consumers’ inflation expectations for the next 12 months, as they seem to believe that they will get a break from inflation, which usually leads to more discretionary demand

UK Retail: challenging times may be ahead after disappointing fourth quarter in 2023

Premium ContentFeb 20, 2024 / United Kingdom
Retail sales of clothing and footwear disappointed in the last quarter of the year after a promising start on Black Friday. This is not particularly surprising given that prices in the category fell more slowly than overall prices and items remain relatively more expensive, making consumers more cautious in their choices. There are some long-term positive signs for retailers when it comes to consumer confidence, but there are likely to be some bumps in the road in the meantime

Germany Retail: despite some good news, retailers continue to worry

Premium ContentFeb 1, 2024 / World Footwear Reports
German retailers’ worries are not over. Despite a slight uptrend in the Textile, Clothing, and Footwear (TCF) Retail index, in line with the recent positive trend in consumer confidence indicators, their concerns go well beyond nominal performance and focus on whether inflation will continue to erode margins. Put simply, passing on costs to customers or closing down altogether is still keeping them up at night. As the first quarter is traditionally slow, and the volatile geopolitical situation could change at any moment, we are cautious about making near-term forecasts

Spain Retail: clouds are lifting for retail

Premium ContentJan 19, 2024 / World Footwear Reports
Despite some concerns about inflation, retailers were optimistic about their prospects for the end of 2023, and data on imports at least confirmed a stabilisation in the footwear trade on favourable grounds. Looking at our previous Retail Flash, it’s now safe to say that the clouds are lifting over retail in Spain. On a different note, online fashion has clearly lost the momentum generated during the pandemic

France Retail: with no crystal ball and eyes wide shut

Premium ContentJan 12, 2024 / France
Despite the slowdown in inflation in recent months and the slight improvement in consumer confidence, footwear retail remains on a downward trend. There is some hope for an upturn in the retail environment in the first half of 2024, but the available data on imports at the moment does not allow us to look ahead with sufficient clarity. Meanwhile, the online second-hand market shows signs of becoming increasingly relevant in France

Japan Retail: footwear trade is not expected to improve until the end of the year

Premium ContentNov 14, 2023 / Japan
Despite some positive news on the growth of department store sales and the return of foreign tourists, rising consumer prices set alarm bells ringing in September, suggesting that Japanese consumers in general are cutting back on spending and may be at their breaking point. In addition, the reduction in the volume of footwear imports and the impact of the country’s monetary policy on the cost of imported goods is another sign that footwear retail is unlikely to improve by the end of the year. The Government has been taking measures, but the outcome shouldn’t be seen until 2024

US Retail: footwear prospects until the end of the year are at a standstill

Premium ContentNov 12, 2023 / United States
Despite signs of a certain resilience from consumers over the summer, companies are taking a cautious approach for the rest of 2023. The long deceleration in footwear inflation came to a halt in August, so if the trend recedes, wage increases will have to follow suit, or the positive outlook for footwear retail could be jeopardised. It’s not surprising how carefully retailers are managing their inventory at the moment: neither too much nor too little

UK Retail: stabilisation of the footwear trade is the best we can hope for at the moment

Premium ContentOct 27, 2023 / United Kingdom
The bad weather in July and August may not have helped retail over the summer, but it would be ill-advised to believe that’s what it’s all about. Despite some improvements in the general consumer price index, the footwear segment continues to show some resistance to going along with the trend. Inflation will have to continue to fall in order to contribute to sustained sales growth in the future, as most consumers have too much on their plate to spend on non-discretionary items. The only positive sign comes from imports, whose data seems to indicate that at least a stabilisation in retail trade is on the horizon

Germany Retail: retailers’ troubles are far from over

Premium ContentOct 20, 2023 / World Footwear Reports
Confidence indicators are a red flag for retail at the moment, especially on the retailers’ side. The slow decline in inflation is likely to have a negative impact on consumer prices in the clothing and footwear segment, which will undoubtedly continue to limit consumers’ purchasing power; even the fall in import prices is not entirely positive news, as it will take time to translate into reality. Only the online channel seems to be more optimistic about the times ahead

Spain Retail: the future of footwear retail is clouded for the rest of the year

Premium ContentOct 10, 2023 / World Footwear Reports
It’s not all bad news. The downward trend recorded by the TCF deflated retail sales index from April onwards remains above last year’s figures, and consumer confidence is about to reach a positive threshold. However, consumer footwear prices show yet no signs of slowing down, and, above all, imports in the category seem to be declining. These two factors could in fact be a warning of a further deterioration in footwear demand in Spain by the end of the year

France Retail: the retail boat is sitting on the water waiting for the wind to pick up

Premium ContentOct 2, 2023 / France
After a somewhat mixed performance over the summer, highly impacted by short-lived events such as the postponement of sales due to the riots or August’s heatwave, some signs suggest that retail in France could improve next year. Consumers seem to be less pessimistic about rising prices and their personal financial situation. But it all comes down to the trajectory of inflation, and whether food and energy prices will effectively ease until the end of the year

Japan Retail: mixed signs cast a shadow over a clear outlook for the rest of the year

Premium ContentJul 18, 2023 / Japan
The growth rate of footwear consumer prices has largely outpaced that of the overall prices. This is not a good sign for the footwear sector, as discretionary items are always the first to be discarded by consumers, but it is not all bad news. The truth is consumer confidence has rebound at the start of the year, private consumption has shown some resilience and the return of tourists is a welcoming sign. Perhaps most surprising is the fact that the volume of imports has not been affected by the weakening of the yen. It remains to be seen how the outlook will unfold

US Retail: distressing times for footwear retail

Premium ContentJul 7, 2023 / United States
In an environment of widespread destocking, footwear retail sales have been declining since the start of the year in the US, and despite good news such as a continuous moderation in price increases. The problem remains with the rising consumer price index for all categories, whose decreasing pace is not enough to generate an overall positive impact. Consumers are still attending to more pressing needs, and footwear is not on that list
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