French footwear sales expected to rise in 2017, indies to recover in 2018
French footwear sales are expected to rise only slightly in 2017, growing by 0.5%, and to rise at best by 1% in 2018. Weak though the growth is, it will be aided by the arrival of new brands, a broader product range and the runaway success of sports footwear, according to market research firm Xerfi.
The news is bad for independent retailers, whose sales have already fallen by 6.5% from the start of the current fiscal year. And while this rate of decline is expected to slow, according to Xerfi, that part of the market will still fall by 3% next year. However, a tiny rise of 0.5% in 2018 would at least mark a turnaround in the fortunes of the indies segment.
Combined sales of independent retailers, brick-and-mortar high-street multi-category giants that also sell shoes, and of specialists such as La Halle aux Chaussures or Besson, are now estimated to account for only half of France's footwear sales, compared to 60% last year. The decline is due to the competition from online retailers, sports stores and other apparel retailers.
Last year, these added up to 7% of all footwear sales, compared to 5% in 2010. And the market share of pureplay e-tailers such as Zalando, Sarenza and Spartoo has apparently increased from 7% in 2010 to 11% in 2015. It remains to be seen whether this trend will continue, as these e-tailers are already looking for new growth drivers.
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