Entries in Sketchers (1)

Tuesday
May042010

See How They Run: Sales Of Shoes To Casual Runners Slowing Down

May 4, 2010: Despite efforts by Nike. Reebok,  Asics, New Balance, Sketchers and others to reach consumers who are casual and novice runners, total sales of running shoes by these groups are slowing down. After three years of gains, sales of running shoes "used for leisure" fell by 1.8% in the U.S. in 2009, according to market research company The NPD Group, Port Washington, NY.

In addition, the downward trend in sales of shoes to casual or novice runners fell by more than 10% last year in the European Big 5 countries of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

"Purchases of ‘running shoes used for leisure’ are being challenged by new product offerings as well as some lingering economic pressures,"  Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for NPD, said in a statement.

However, NPD had better news for companies targeting hard-core runners: Sales of athletic footwear used by dedicated runners in the U.S. rose by 1.3%. And the numbers in Canada were even better, where footwear targeting dedicated runners rolse by 5% over 2009.

More good news for companies targeting core runners in the U.S.: These consumers are willing to pay an average of $14 more on their footwear than leisure wearers. According to NPD, dedicated women runners are the drivers of this trend in the U.S. and Europe, paying even more than the overall average trend.  

“With motivation being the number one driving factor for sports participation, brands need to have a ‘multi-message’ marketing strategy in place,” said Cohen. “One message for the hard-core athletes and the other to reach the consumer that is the more casual wearer."

Saucony, Puma and Brooks are among the successful companies targeting hard-core runners in the U.S. , while adidas, asics and Nike were having more success in Japan and the European Big 5.

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