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Athletic Footwear February Results: Data & Analysis From Matt Powell, The NPD Group Mar 24, 2017
February Athletic Footwear Overview
As I wrote about here, the delayed Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) funds severely hurt the U.S. athletic shoe business in February. While sales bounced back the last week of the month as the funds were distributed, it was not enough to offset the earlier losses.
U.S. sales of athletic footwear in February declined 14 percent in dollars and 10 percent in unit sales compared to February 2016.
Trend during March has improved, but questions remain as to whether the combined periods will show an increase versus last year.

By Wearer
It’s no surprise that the kids business was hardest hit by the delayed child credits. For the month, children’s athletic footwear sales were down more than 20 percent. Men’s sales were also hard hit, down in the low teens, while the women’s business declined only in the mid-single digits.

By Category
Classics, which had been riding high, slowed to experience a 12 percent sales decrease in February. I expect that this trend will reverse.
The running category struggled, with dollar sales down in the high single-digits for the month.
With mixed winter weather during February, cold/all weather boot sales declined 22 percent overall.
On the plus side, casual athletic footwear grew about a third, thanks largely to expanded distribution, and sport slides were up in the high single-digits for the month.

By Brand
Adidas made it through February relatively unscathed, with its athletic footwear sales up about 85 percent. Puma also grew about 20 percent.
Nike, Brand Jordan, and Converse experienced a decline in February sales, as did Under Armour. The major, technical running brands all had declines.

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