Global Footwear Market to Reach 15.7 Billion Pairs by 2017
Also compounding the problem of fickle brand loyalty is technology and the proffered ability to identify, compare, evaluate and choose among brands. For instance, new innovative smartphone apps expand consumers’ product choices thereby increasing the likelihood of purchasing decisions being swayed in favor of new brands and superior offers/deals. With technology clearly poised to penetrate deeper into the retailing industry, customers will increasingly become brand agnostic. Against this backdrop, companies are expected to leverage technology to reinforce their brands to prevent the same technology from eroding brand value. Players are increasingly investing in non-conventional channels, such as, e-tailing, and social media marketing, among others.
Growth in the world market will be driven by Asia-Pacific, given the region’s growing appetite for mass consumption of footwear, the casualisation of clothing and rising number of sports enthusiasts. Strong GDP growth, rising employment levels, income levels, and discretionary spends will help drive growth in the marketplace. Growing awareness over international prestige brands, coupled with rising standards of living to complement aspirational purchases will drive growth in the high-end market tier. Another key noteworthy trend is the growing popularity of Private Labels. This category which emerged as the greatest beneficiary of the recession as a result of consumer flight towards cheaper products is expected to continue its growth into the future. The perception of national labels offering consistency and quality has undergone a sea change. Recent surveys indicate that private labels are gaining favor and are posing a formidable challenge to national brands. To survive the onslaught of competition from private brands, manufacturers of national brands are introducing cheaper and economic versions of their popular upmarket brands, despite the dangers associated with floating existing brands downmarket. Offering quality products at compelling competitive prices, while simultaneously ensuring against unwarranted brand dilution remains the key strategy for players to survive the onslaught of competition from private labeled brands.
In a mature and fragmented market where players constantly search for new business opportunities, the importance of technology innovation cannot be undermined. Innovation therefore ranks supreme with manufacturers battling to add uniqueness and exclusivity in designs, styles, and colors to their products. As footwear specialists continue to expand their footwear offering, margins of footwear specialists will come under pressure, making the footwear sector even more competitive. In the upcoming years, growth will be driven by availability of wider product ranges, fashionable designs, building brand value, replacement purchases and competitive pricing.
The apparel industry in Europe currently remains nervous over the play out of the debt crisis that currently hangs over Western Europe. Macro themes affecting Europe include the prolonging of the sovereign debt crisis as a result of the half-measures implemented till date in attempts to stave off the crisis, a dysfunctional financial system that is fuelling a slow-motion economic collapse and fears over reduced consumer spending and slower economic growth as a result of austerity measures. At the extreme pessimistic end of the spectrum, bearish outlook indicates a possible collapse of the Euro as a common currency, which could pose insurmountable problems for the textile industry. The current softening of Europe’s apparel imports under such a scenario will take an even more depressing downturn. A more balanced outlook is the possible exit of the debt ridden economies, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain, from the European Union. A return to local currencies, which would be massively devalued, will bring in critical implications for the apparel industry in Western Europe. Against this backdrop, consumer spending which continues to remain a key pillar of growth in the footwear market, which although currently jittery and sensitive to vacillating market sentiments, is nevertheless expected to hold up in the year 2012.
As stated by the new market research report on Footwear, Asia-Pacific represents the largest market in terms of volume sales and the third largest in terms of dollar sales. The region is forecast to witness the strongest growth, trailing a projected CAGR of 3.0% to 3.5% over the analysis period 2009 through 2017. Sales of outdoor/rugged footwear are projected to witness the highest growth over the analysis period.
Major players in the global marketplace include Adidas AG, Bata Shoe Organization, Brown Shoe Company, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, ECCO Sko A/S, Gucci Group, Kenneth Cole Productions, LaCrosse Footwear, Nike, Nine West Group, Puma AG, R.G. Barry Corporation, Vans, Weyco Group, Wolverine World Wide, among others.
The research report titled "Footwear: A Global Strategic Business Report" announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a comprehensive review of market trends, issues, drivers, company profiles, mergers, acquisitions and other strategic industry activities. The report provides market estimates and projections in billion pairs and US$ million for major geographic markets including the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Russia, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East/Africa. Product segments analyzed include Athletic Footwear (Aerobic, Baseball, Basketball, Cricket, Cross-Training, Soccer, Running, Tennis, Walking, Hiking, Hockey, and Athleisure among others), Casual Footwear, Outdoor/Rugged Footwear, and Dress/Formal Footwear.