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SOURCE: The NPD Group
The lightweight segment contributed nearly 60 percent to the total year-over-year gain in running shoe sales in the U.S.
(PRWEB) June 20, 2012
According to The NPD Group, a leading market research company, the market share for the lightweight performance running shoe segment more than tripled, year over year, growing 9 percentage points to reach 14 percent of the market in February of 2012. This sizeable growth in the lightweight segment contributed nearly 60 percent to the total gain in running shoe sales in the U.S. Price points between $80 and $89.99 were the sweet spot for the segment, posting the largest sales growth compared to last year.
“Running shoes appeal to a wide sector of consumers,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for NPD. “Only a third of running shoes are purchased with running in mind. This leaves the majority of the market buying for casual wear. Lightweight athletic shoes are a great draw for casual wearers, so when you add colors you have a winning combination.”
The durability of lightweight running shoes is shorter than for other athletic-shoe segments, which bodes well for the brands and retailers, as the replenishment cycle is now speeding up and replacement pairs are more frequent. “Look for this trend of growth to continue, and the trend of lightweight shoes to migrate beyond just running,” Cohen said.
Geography and Demographics
Running footwear sales varied by geography, according to NPD’s POS data. In the men’s performance running segment, Miami and Los Angeles showed the strongest growth rates among the top markets. Sales in New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia saw growth rates below that of the total U.S. market. The women’s performance running market showed strong growth driven by strong increases in Miami and Chicago. In Los Angeles consumers have gravitated toward lightweight products, with category importance indexing at twice the rate of the total U.S. market.
When NPD looked at the consumer demographics for athletic footwear sales, millennials were the primary sales driver. Adults between the ages of 18 and 34 contributed approximately 60 percent of all athletic footwear incremental sales in 2011; however, certain brands fared better than others among this age group. “Millennials are turning out to be the age segment to appeal to, even more so than baby boomers,” according to Cohen, “and that’s especially true for athletic performance footwear.”
About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 2,000 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food, home and office, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit http://www.npd.com/, or follow us Twitter at https://twitter.com/npdgroup.
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