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Footwear Retailing - UK - April 2019

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

The report looks at purchases of shoes for adults and children and uses ONS (Office for National Statistics) consumer spending data, which covers all retail channels – both specialist and nonspecialist (eg clothing stores, department stores, sports shops, supermarkets, internet pureplayers, catalogue retailers, markets, etc.).

This report covers the following footwear categories:

  • All footwear including trainers.

“It has been a disappointing 2018 for footwear, with very little growth in value terms. The market has undoubtedly been affected by the current political uncertainty in the UK and people have been less willing to spend. Therefore, retailers offering value for money have performed better than others. The unpredictable weather continues to have a negative effect on the growth of footwear, with retailers failing to come up with strategies that effectively combat this issue. Once again we see that the popularity of trainers has been driving any growth within the market, and as a result sports specialists have seen their share of the footwear market grow, while specialists have struggled.”

- Chana Baram, Retail Analyst

This report will look at the following areas:

  • Importance of getting online right
  • More innovation needed in the sector
  • Growing demand for sustainable footwear

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Value of the footwear market in the UK remains unmoved in 2018
              • Figure 1: UK footwear sales, best- and worst-case forecast, 2013-23
            • Footwear specialists and clothing retailers continue to struggle
              • Figure 2: Estimated distribution of spending on footwear, by type of retailer, 2015-18
            • Unseasonable weather affected 2018 footwear sales
              • Figure 3: Year-on-year difference of UK monthly mean temperature and footwear retail sales, 2018
            • People concerned about Brexit, despite earnings outstripping inflation
              • Figure 4: Average weekly earnings (total pay) vs inflation, January 2016-December 2018
            • Companies and brands
              • Clarks continues to struggle
                • JD Sports remains the largest footwear retailer in the UK
                  • Figure 5: Estimated market shares for top 10 retailers of footwear, by value, 2017 and 2018
                • Online footwear sales reached £2.3 billion in 2018
                  • The consumer
                    • Trainers are the most popular style across all categories
                      • Figure 6: Styles of women’s footwear purchased, February 2019
                      • Figure 7: Styles of children's footwear purchased, February 2019
                    • Sports Direct remains the most popular retailer for footwear
                      • Figure 8: Retailers footwear has been purchased from, February 2019
                    • Quality is the most important factor when choosing a retailer
                      • Figure 9: Top factors in deciding where to purchase footwear, February 2019
                    • People buy footwear out of necessity
                      • Figure 10: Reasons footwear was bought, February 2019
                    • The opportunity in non-leather shoes
                      • Figure 11: Footwear shopper behaviour towards more ethical shopping, February 2019
                    • What we think
                    • Issues and Insights

                      • Importance of getting online right
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • More innovation needed in the sector
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Figure 12: Dr. Martens DIY customisation tour, with tattoo artist Adam Vu Noir, 2019
                                • Growing demand for sustainable footwear
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Figure 13: Zalando’s sustainability filter in action, 2019
                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                    • Value of the footwear market in the UK remains unmoved in 2018
                                      • Women’s and children’s shares of the footwear market grow.
                                        • Footwear specialists and clothing retailers continue to struggle
                                          • Unseasonable weather affected 2018 footwear sales
                                            • Bad year for department stores
                                              • People concerned about Brexit
                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                • Value of the footwear market in the UK remains stagnant in 2018
                                                  • Figure 14: UK footwear sales, best- and worst-case forecast, 2013-23
                                                • Footwear forecast
                                                  • Figure 15: UK footwear sales, at current and 2018 prices, 2013-23
                                                • Uncertainty surrounding Brexit
                                                  • Women’s and children’s shares of the footwear market grow
                                                    • Figure 16: UK footwear sales, segmented by market value and percentage share, 2016-18
                                                    • Figure 17: UK footwear sales, segmented by women’s, men’s and children’s, % share, 2016-18
                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                  • Channels to Market

                                                    • Footwear specialists and clothing retailers continue to struggle
                                                      • Figure 18: Estimated distribution of spending on footwear, by type of retailer, 2015-18
                                                    • Sports and pureplay retailers gain share
                                                      • Figure 19: Estimated distribution of spending on footwear, by type of retailer, 2015-18
                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                    • Sportswear continues to grow
                                                      • Figure 20: Sportswear and outdoorwear categories purchased, September 2018
                                                    • Number of school-aged children predicted to increase
                                                      • Figure 21: Projected year-on-year percentage population change, based on 2016 projections, by age at last birthday, 2013-22
                                                      • Figure 22: Projected (2017-based projections) UK population at mid-years, by age at last birthday, 2013-22
                                                      • Figure 23: Products purchased for the start of the school term, October 2018
                                                    • Unseasonable weather affected 2018 footwear sales
                                                      • Figure 24: Year-on-year difference of UK monthly mean temperature and footwear retail sales, 2018
                                                    • Footfall continues to decline
                                                      • Figure 25: Year-on-year footfall change, by location, January 2015-January 2019
                                                    • Bad year for department stores
                                                      • Fewer people purchased fashion items over the summer
                                                        • Figure 26: Trends in items respondents have purchased for themselves, September and December 2017-18
                                                      • People concerned Brexit will negatively affect their ability to spend…
                                                        • Figure 27: Economic outlook consumer tracker, January 2019
                                                      • …despite earnings outstripping inflation
                                                        • Figure 28: Average weekly earnings (total pay) vs inflation, January 2016-December 2018
                                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Clarks continues to struggle
                                                        • LK Bennett goes into administration
                                                          • JD Sports buys Footasylum
                                                            • Online footwear sales reached £2.3 billion in 2018
                                                              • Footwear advertising expenditure increases 40% in 2018
                                                                • Multi-brand retailers struggle to differentiate themselves
                                                                • Leading Footwear Retailers

                                                                  • Leading specialists struggle
                                                                    • Clarks sales and profits decline
                                                                      • LK Bennett goes into administration
                                                                        • Figure 29: Leading footwear specialists: UK revenues, 2014-18
                                                                      • Kurt Geiger head office shake-up amid expansion plans
                                                                        • Over-reliance on department stores hits specialists
                                                                          • Shoe Zone’s store strategy proves a success, as sales and profits grow
                                                                            • Figure 30: Leading footwear specialists: UK outlet numbers, 2014-18
                                                                          • Dune focuses on international expansion
                                                                            • Sales per outlet
                                                                              • Figure 31: Leading footwear specialists: estimated UK sales per outlet, 2014-18
                                                                            • Operating profit
                                                                              • Figure 32: Leading footwear specialists: UK operating profits, 2014-18
                                                                          • Leading Non-Specialists

                                                                            • JD strengthens its position as top non-specialist retailer
                                                                              • JD Sports buys Footasylum
                                                                                • Figure 33: Leading non-specialist retailers: estimated footwear sales (excluding VAT), 2014-18
                                                                              • Sports Direct’s UK sales slip as it continues buying spree
                                                                                • M&S increases focus on footwear
                                                                                  • Retail offering
                                                                                    • Figure 34: Leading non-specialist retailers: positioning, offer and brands stocked, 2019
                                                                                • Market Share

                                                                                  • JD Sports bolsters its lead
                                                                                    • Figure 35: Estimated market shares for top 10 retailers of footwear, by value, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 36: Estimated market shares for top 20 retailers of footwear, 2014-18
                                                                                • Online

                                                                                  • Online footwear sales reached £2.3 billion in 2018
                                                                                    • Technology makes online shopping easier
                                                                                      • Figure 37: Size? use of Fit Finder sizing tool, 2019
                                                                                    • Pureplay retailers expand footwear offering
                                                                                      • Figure 38: Estimated online sales of footwear, 2014-18
                                                                                    • Distribution
                                                                                      • Figure 39: Estimated distribution of online sales, 2014-18
                                                                                    • Case study: Amazon’s share of the market is growing
                                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                      • Smart shoes
                                                                                        • Figure 40: Jimmy Choo Voyager mobile phone app, 2019
                                                                                      • Shoes with ‘learning insoles’
                                                                                        • Footwear collaborations
                                                                                          • Puma teams up with Porsche
                                                                                            • Figure 41: Porsche Design Speedcat Jamming, 2019
                                                                                          • Jaguar Land Rover and Clarks collaborate on menswear collection
                                                                                            • Dr. Martens collaborations
                                                                                              • Figure 42: Dr. Martens x BAPE, 2018
                                                                                            • ASICS x Vivienne Westwood
                                                                                              • Figure 43: ASICS x Vivienne Westwood collection, 2019
                                                                                            • GZ x Rita Ora
                                                                                              • Size? sells exclusive adidas Originals Colnago collection
                                                                                                • Mytheresa and Tod’s
                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Mytheresa’s exclusive collection with Tod’s, 2018
                                                                                                • Limited editions
                                                                                                  • adidas x TfL
                                                                                                    • Mahabis collaborates with Penguin
                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Mahabis x Penguin Modern Classics, 2018
                                                                                                    • Footwear launches
                                                                                                      • Dune launches new affordable fashion-forward footwear brand
                                                                                                        • Mr Porter’s brand launches footwear
                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Mr P. boots, 2019
                                                                                                        • Sustainable footwear
                                                                                                          • Nike’s VaporMax 2
                                                                                                            • Allbirds opens first UK store
                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Allbirds London store, 2018
                                                                                                            • M&S uses social media influencers for footwear collection
                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Erica Davies, one of the bloggers M&S collaborated with for its blogger footwear collection, 2019
                                                                                                            • Creative footwear retail concepts
                                                                                                              • Nike’s new New York City flagship is its most innovative yet
                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Nike’s new flagship store in New York, 2018
                                                                                                              • Merging the physical retailing with online
                                                                                                                • Lloyd offers home delivery from airport stores
                                                                                                                  • Footwear vending
                                                                                                                    • ECCO opens new unit in shopping centre
                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: ECCO’s new store in St David’s in Cardiff, 2019
                                                                                                                    • Dr. Martens factory
                                                                                                                      • Socially minded endeavours help brands stand out from the crowd
                                                                                                                      • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                        • Total advertising expenditure up 40.4% year on year
                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Total above-the-line online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on footwear, 2015-18
                                                                                                                        • Budget-friendly brand Newchic is sector’s highest-spending advertiser
                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Total recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on footwear, by leading advertisers, 2015-18
                                                                                                                        • Key campaigns
                                                                                                                          • Skechers advert courts controversy
                                                                                                                            • Parley for the Oceans plastic campaign
                                                                                                                              • Clarks back-to-school campaign
                                                                                                                                • Dune: Clothes are overrated
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Dune London’s ‘Clothes are Overrated’ campaign, 2019
                                                                                                                                • Use of influencers in campaigns
                                                                                                                                  • JD Sports teams up with fashion blogger Lily Kitten
                                                                                                                                    • Kurt Geiger releases campaign with Susie Bubble for London Fashion Week
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Kurt Geiger’s ‘Colourful Characters’ campaign featuring Susie Lau, 2019
                                                                                                                                    • Half of total advertising expenditure spent on digital advertising
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Total above-the-line online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on footwear, by media type, 2018
                                                                                                                                    • Leading advertisers’ advertising spend by media type
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Leading advertisers’ total recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on footwear, by media type, 2018
                                                                                                                                    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                    • Brand Research

                                                                                                                                        • Brand map
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, March 2019
                                                                                                                                        • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Key metrics for selected brands, March 2019
                                                                                                                                        • Brand attitudes: Clarks stands out for customer service and being trustworthy
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Attitudes, by brand, March 2019
                                                                                                                                        • Brand personality: Schuh, Office and Footasylum are seen as fun brands
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Brand personality – macro image, March 2019
                                                                                                                                        • Brand personality: Hotter perceived to be expensive
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Brand personality – micro image, March 2019
                                                                                                                                        • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                                          • Foot Locker struggles to differentiate itself
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: User profile of Foot Locker, March 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Office stylish and aspirational but impersonal
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: User profile of Office, March 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Clarks high brand awareness and usage
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: User profile of Clarks, March 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Schuh fun and stylish
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: User profile of Schuh, March 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Footasylum suffers from low awareness and usage
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: User profile of Footasylum, March 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Hotter expensive and somewhat boring
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: User profile of Hotter, March 2019
                                                                                                                                        • C&J Clark

                                                                                                                                            • What we think
                                                                                                                                              • Brings in former Geox boss as chief executive
                                                                                                                                                • UK manufacturing a missed opportunity in maintaining brand heritage
                                                                                                                                                  • Creates single stock pool to boost online sales
                                                                                                                                                    • New store design to continue rollout?
                                                                                                                                                      • Launches children’s literacy skills initiative
                                                                                                                                                        • Company background
                                                                                                                                                          • Company performance
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: C&J Clark (UK and ROI): group financial performance, 2013/14-2017/18
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: C&J Clark (UK and ROI): outlet data, 2013/14-2017/18
                                                                                                                                                          • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                          • Deichmann Schuh

                                                                                                                                                              • What we think
                                                                                                                                                                • Filling in gaps in European network
                                                                                                                                                                  • Continues with growth of smaller formats
                                                                                                                                                                    • Franchise move could show way ahead in Balkans and Eastern Europe
                                                                                                                                                                      • Pursues younger consumers
                                                                                                                                                                        • Company background
                                                                                                                                                                          • Company performance
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Deichmann Schuh: group financial performance, 2013-18
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Deichmann Schuh: outlet data, 2013-18
                                                                                                                                                                          • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                                          • Foot Locker Europe

                                                                                                                                                                              • What we think
                                                                                                                                                                                • Shifts investment focus towards digital
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Revamping its store base
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Invests in tie-ups with brands
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Buys into the second-hand trainer market
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Company background
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Company performance
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Foot Locker Europe: group financial performance, 2014/15-2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Foot Locker Europe: outlet data, 2014/15-2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Trainers are the most popular style across all categories
                                                                                                                                                                                              • More people shop online for footwear
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Sports Direct remains the most popular retailer for footwear
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Quality is the most important factor when choosing a retailer
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • People buy footwear out of necessity
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The opportunity in non-leather shoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Types of Footwear Bought

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Heeled styles prove to be least popular
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Styles of women’s footwear purchased, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Trainers are the most popular style across all categories…
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Styles of men’s footwear purchased, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Gucci sport sandals, 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …and are also the style most likely to be bought for others
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Women are most likely to buy footwear for others
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Footwear bought, by gender of buyer, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Men purchase fewer styles of footwear
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 78: Repertoire of styles purchased, by gender, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Types of Children’s Footwear Bought

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Trainers continue to be more popular purchase than school shoes…
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Styles of children's footwear purchased, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …as they prove popular for children of all ages
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 80: Styles of children's footwear purchased, by age of children in household, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Households with children aged 5-11 purchase the most styles
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Repertoire of styles purchased, by age of children in household, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Where Footwear is Bought

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Online purchasing grows across all ages
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 82: Channels used for footwear purchasing, by age, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Specialist stores prove most popular…
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 83: Types of retailer footwear was purchased from, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …particularly with in-store shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 84: Type of retailers footwear was bought at, by channel used, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sports Direct most popular retailer for footwear
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 85: Retailers footwear has been purchased from, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sports retailers prove more popular with male shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 86: Percentage who shopped for footwear at a sports retailer, by age and gender, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 87: Nike campaign with the then 9 year old skateboarder, Sky Brown, 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Younger shoppers buy footwear from several retailers
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 88: Repertoire of retailers purchased from, by age, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Choosing a Footwear Retailer

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Quality is the most important factor when choosing a retailer
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 89: Top factors in deciding where to purchase footwear, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Highlighting quality can make footwear retailers stand out
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • British-made more important for older shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 90: People who ranked ‘sells British-made footwear’ as a top factor in deciding where to purchase footwear, by age, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Reasons for Buying Footwear

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Most buy footwear out of necessity
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 91: Reasons footwear was bought, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • A quarter purchased footwear based on the weather
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 92: Kurt Geiger’s Rita boot in pink, 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Women more likely to buy shoes for different events
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 93: Events footwear was bought for, by gender, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 94: Repertoire of reasons used for purchasing footwear, by gender, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Behaviour towards Footwear

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Comfort, quality and range of sizes more important than fashion
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 95: Footwear shopper behaviour towards comfort, quality, and fashion, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • The way people shop for footwear is changing
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 96: Behaviour towards shopping for footwear, by age, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 97: Making of the Diemme Arket Anatra boot, 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Online seen to have a price advantage
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 98: Footwear shopper behaviour towards online and offline purchasing of footwear, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Young, male shoppers are most susceptible to online endorsements
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 99: Behaviour towards influencers, by age and gender, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumers are concerned about ethics
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 100: Footwear shopper behaviour towards more ethical shopping, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Non-leather shoes: the next big thing?
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 101: Stella McCartney x Stan Smith, 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 102: UK footwear sales, best- and worst-case forecast, 2018-23

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Footwear Retailing - UK - April 2019

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