Footwear Market Overview
The global footwear market is primarily shaped by two major trends in the 21st century – burgeoning demand for designer shoes amongst the discerning, high-end clientele, and athletic equipment and sports shoes among men and fitness buffs. Rapid expansion in the industry has been possible due to increased demand for new and trendy designs worldwide, along with a shift in production towards more cost-effective manufacturing locations. Customers have become aware of the latest fashion trends and have begun to expect nothing but the best footwear. At the same time, comfort is given paramount priority and it cannot be compromised merely for the sake of design. The footwear market is already worth more than $200 billion and is only poised to grow further. It can be broadly classified into type, end user, the platform of sale, the material used, and different geographic regions. The non- athletic footwear can be further subdivided into evening footwear, military equipment footwear, casual footwear and many others.
Footwear Market Drivers
There are several drivers which are expected to benefit the global footwear market. Rising health concerns because of a sedentary lifestyle and the resultant problems caused by it are what benefits athletic footwear demand. This influences people to actively take part in both indoor and outdoor physical activities. Major global sporting events held periodically like the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Cricket World Cup, Super Bowl and FIFA World Cup also boost demand from both the athletes and their numerous fans.
A demand for trendy, comfortable and fancy footwear is what drives the non-athletic footwear market. This is observed among all age groups, but particularly so among the millennials and Generation Z. Leather footwear is widely considered as a premium product and it occupies a significant share of the market. The proliferation of smartphones, e-commerce and mobile Internet connectivity also helps in no small part. The younger generation across the world has taken to online shopping and there is no going back from the comfort and convenience offered by it. Major companies are focusing on online retail to cater to people living in Tier III cities or even far-flung towns or villages which they would have never been able to reach via traditional retail channels.
Footwear Market Restraints
Counterfeits are probably the biggest challenge faced by the global footwear market. These duplicates often seem to be as good as their doppelganger on initial inspection, but they are not made with the same kind of rigorous quality checks adopted by global players. They hamper distribution channels and lead to a negative impact on the entire market. Most footwear is made in developing countries like China, India, Bangladesh and Mexico now. Other countries might impose heavy taxes or duties on these imported products which could stifle the domestic demand.
Footwear Market Key Regions
China and India alone account for nearly 1/3rd of the global population and this ensures that Asia Pacific is the largest footwear market in the world. They are not poised to lose their leadership titles anytime soon and they already comprise of almost 2/5th of the entire global footwear market! This can be attributed to several factors – rapid urbanisation and a preference to adopt a western lifestyle and/or brands especially in the middle class and rich society. Global footwear brands would be well advised to invest in these countries to secure their future growth prospects. In addition to this, an eager adoption of e-commerce, smartphones and mobile connectivity has made purchasing footwear online there an easy and hassle-free experience.
North America is the second largest global footwear market with a particular skew towards athletic and sports shoes. The U.S. and Mexico have very high rates of obesity which has spurred people to focus more on their health. The region is also home to many multi-national sports equipment companies which are often at the forefront of innovation. It can be reasonably predicted that they will lead the world in developing new footwear which fulfils both the penchant for design and also a preference for superior quality. The fact that Internet infrastructure is well-developed, particularly in Canada and the U.S., also helps a great deal.
Footwear Market Key Market Players
The key players in the global footwear market are Nike Inc., Adidas AG, Reebok, PUMA, Skechers USA, Geox, Under Armour Inc., Timberland, ECCO Sko A/S, Timberland, New Balance, BATA, Deichmann SE, The Aldo Group, Jack Wolfskin, Polartec, Columbia Sportswear and Asics Corp.
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