Footwear News: Sales Slowed in Q1; Demand for Boots Weaker.

A Footwear News article cited data from Circana (formerly IRI and The NPD Group) that sales “slowed in the first quarter of 2023 as demand softened and warmer weather impacted boot sales,” although Beth Goldstein, Circana’s footwear and accessories analyst said that “steady price increases managed to keep the overall revenue losses in the low single digits”.

Circana cited performance footwear as a bright spot with sales rising 2% in the quarter to $1.8 billion, driven by the sports segment.  However, for the leisure footwear category, wholesale sales slipped 3% and fashion footwear fell 4% in the first quarter. “These declines can be felt mostly in the boot segment, which experienced a challenging season due to the mild winter weather in the U.S. this year.”

Map of U.S. showing Weather-Driven Demand percentages of Q1 2023 vs. 2022Planalytics’ Weather-Driven Demand (WDD) metrics for the boot category confirm Circana’s findings and show that most regions struggled against strong headwinds due to warmer temperatures. For the U.S. overall, there was a negative 4.4% weather impact on the category.

Circana noted that the Pacific states of California, Oregon, and Washington showed strong sales gains, and that due to “the atypical winter weather, the top five (and nine of the top 10) fastest-growing cities for cold-weather boot sales in the period were in California.”  The map above shows Planalytics’ WDD calculations for the quarter and confirm Circana’s findings. For retail Q1 (February through April), Planalytics reports +21% WDD (vs. LY) for Los Angeles, +9% for San Francisco, and +4% for Portland.

On the other hand, unfavorable weather conditions hurt sales in the Midwest and Northeast.  Negative year-over-year WDD metrics for Q1 include Pittsburgh -24%, Indianapolis -19%, Boston -16%, Chicago -12%, and New York City -10%.

Check out the “Profiting from Predictive Weather-Driven Demand Analytics” white paper to learn more about WDD analytics and the benefits businesses can capture by measuring and proactively planning for an ever-present and constantly changing driver of consumer demand.