2021
9
UK Footwear Retailing Market Report 2021
2021-04-27T15:56:12+01:00
OX1044847
2195
137023
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Report
en_GB
“The past year has hit the footwear sector hard and is likely to have a lasting impact. Initially, footwear, being a very seasonal fashion item, suffered big losses when stores…

UK Footwear Retailing Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK Footwear Retailing market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Although online shopping has been the biggest winner throughout COVID-19, 63% of footwear shoppers would feel more confident buying online if more sizing advice was available and 53% are put off by fiddly returns processes.

COVID-19, therefore, badly affected a market that at the moment is still better suited to in-store retailing. Store closures led to a sharp drop in sales and the market declined by 30% throughout the April-June 2020 quarter. Additionally, even once stores did reopen, demand for formal footwear still did not pick up as there were few occasions for dressier styles. Instead, shoppers opted for slippers to wear at home, or shoes to go for walks or partake in outdoor sports.

The biggest threats to the market have been the increase in online shopping, threatening retailers with large store portfolios, as well as the decline in consumer confidence. The market is heavily reliant on branded footwear and if people start to trade down and move away from these the category could suffer.

However, there are big opportunities within the sector. Several brands and retailers, such as Nike and Farfetch, have started to embrace online and digital innovation by introducing virtual try-on technology so shoppers can see what different items would look like when worn as well as virtual fit technology for shoppers to find out what shoe size they need. Meanwhile, Gucci and Buffalo London are taking things a step further by selling footwear that can only be worn on digital platforms. These are promising developments and show that footwear brands and retailers are able to innovate and keep up with new demands.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Clothing, Footwear and Accessories market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 and the third national lockdown on the footwear market.
  • How consumer behaviours and attitudes have changed since COVID-19.
  • What channels people use to shop for footwear and what retailers they buy from.
  • Consumer behaviours around discounting.
  • Incentivising shoppers to buy footwear online via convenient delivery and virtual try-on technology.
  • Footwear retail industry.
  • Footwear retailers market share.

Covered in this report

Types of Shoe: Trainers, boots, slippers, casual shoes, formal shoes, slides, sandals, flat boots, boots with heels, flat shoes, heeled shoes, sandals with heels, school shoes, wellington boots, dress shoes.

Brands: Clarks, Schuh, Hotter Shoes, Office, Aldo, Footasylum, Russell & Bromley, Hotter Shoes, Dune, LK Bennett, Shoe Zone, Farfetch, Gucci, JD, Kurt Geiger, Sketchers, Foot Locker, Pavers, Deichmann Shoes, Beaconsfield Footwear, Russell & Bromley, Clickard Group, LK Bennett, Soletrader (Twinmar), Wynsors World of Shoes, Lloyd Shoe Co, Rieker, Aldo UK.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Chana Baram, a leading analyst in the Retail sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The past year has hit the footwear sector hard and is likely to have a lasting impact. Initially, footwear, being a very seasonal fashion item, suffered big losses when stores were shut during the spring months. Additionally, as more people were forced to shop online many footwear specialists had to rethink their store portfolios and several big names such as Clarks and Hotter entered into a CVA process to keep afloat. Although more people bought into slippers or footwear for outdoor exercise, this did not make up for losses experienced due to a decline in purchasing formal styles.
Chana Baram
Senior Retail Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on footwear
      • Figure 1: Short, medium and long-term impact of COVID-19 on footwear, 4 March 2021
    • The market
    • Footwear market declined by 14% in 2020
      • Figure 2: Market size and forecast for footwear, 2015-25 (prepared on 31 March 2021)
    • Specialists have taken a big hit in 2020
      • Figure 3: Estimated distribution of spending on footwear, by type of retailer, 2017-20
    • Footfall across stores declined due to store closures
      • Figure 4: Year-on-year footfall change, by location, 2015-21
    • Companies and brands
    • Sports specialists gain share
      • Figure 5: Estimated market shares for top 10 retailers of footwear, by value, 2018-20
    • Opportunities in direct mail advertising
      • Figure 6: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on footwear, by media type, 2019 and 2020
    • Clarks is the most trustworthy brand while the rest fail to differentiate themselves
      • Figure 7: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, March 2021
    • The consumer
    • COVID-19 has caused many to be uncomfortable trying footwear on in-store
      • Figure 8: How comfortable people are doing the following activities during COVID-19, 10-19 November 2020
    • Women’s seasonal and formal styles suffer
      • Figure 9: Styles of women’s footwear purchased, 2019-21
    • Men turn to comfortable styles
      • Figure 10: Styles of men’s footwear purchased, 2019-21
    • Disruption in schooling has contributed to declines in children’s footwear
      • Figure 11: Styles of children’s footwear purchased, 2019-21
    • More shopped for footwear online than in-store
      • Figure 12: Channels used for footwear purchasing, May 2020 and February 2021
    • Over two in five shoppers value familiarity
      • Figure 13: Factors prioritised when shopping for footwear, February 2021
    • Pain points for shopping footwear online need to be lessened
      • Figure 14: Behaviours towards shopping for footwear online, February 2021
    • Exclusive discounts would draw shoppers to one online retailer over another
      • Figure 15: Factors that help people choose a retailer when buying footwear online, February 2021
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Life beyond the pandemic: what’s next for online footwear shopping?
      • Figure 16: Example of the new Instagram Shop option introduced at the start of the pandemic, 2020
    • What does the future hold for formal footwear?
  4. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • COVID-19 has led to 14% decline in footwear
    • Sports specialists have gained share
    • Footwear retailers must adapt to the move online
  5. Market Size and Forecast

    • Short, medium and long-term impact on the footwear industry
      • Figure 17: Short, medium and long-term impact of COVID-19 on footwear, 4 March 2021
    • COVID-19 has caused a 14% decline in footwear
      • Figure 18: Market size and forecast for footwear, 2015-25 (prepared on 31 March 2021)
      • Figure 19: Market size for footwear, 2015-20
    • Store closures have heavily impacted the market
    • Share of the market by women’s, men’s and children’s footwear
      • Figure 20: UK footwear sales, segmented by market value and percentage share, 2015-20
      • Figure 21: UK footwear sales, segmented by women’s, men’s and children’s, % share, 2018-20
    • Market drivers and assumptions
    • Learnings from the last recession
      • Figure 22: Value sales of footwear, 2007-12
      • Figure 23: Consumer spending on footwear, 2007-12
    • Forecast methodology
  6. Channels to Market

    • Specialists have taken a big hit in 2020
    • Sports retailers gain share
      • Figure 24: Estimated distribution of spending on footwear, by type of retailer, 2017-20
    • Department store closures negatively affect specialist concessions
      • Figure 25: Estimated distribution of spending on footwear, by type of retailer, 2017-20
    • Online sales have dominated
      • Figure 26: Estimated online sales of footwear, 2017-20
    • Online distribution
      • Figure 27: Estimated distribution of online sales, 2017-20
  7. Market Drivers

    • Number of people buying fashion items has declined
      • Figure 28: Trends in items respondents have purchased for themselves, December 2019 and December 2020
    • Footwear experiences deflation
      • Figure 29: Annual changes in CPIH for footwear (including repairs), 2008-20
      • Figure 30: Monthly year-on-year change in CPIH for footwear market, by category, 2020-21
    • Footfall across stores declined due to store closures
      • Figure 31: Year-on-year footfall change, by location, 2015-21
    • Reliance on online retail experiences sharp jump
      • Figure 32: Internet sales as a percentage of total retail sales, 2015-20
      • Figure 33: Internet sales as a percentage of total retail sales, monthly, 2019-21
    • Brexit deal causes confusion and delays
      • Figure 34: Economic outlook towards Brexit, February 2021
    • Trainers are top purchased sportswear item…
      • Figure 35: Sportswear and outdoorwear categories purchased, 2018 and 2020
    • …as more people started walking for leisure
      • Figure 36: Active adults taking part in sports or physical activity at least twice over a 28-day period, millions of people, mid-March-mid-May 2019 and 2020
  8. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Many struggling specialists have entered into CVAs
    • Digital footwear innovations stand out
    • Opportunities in direct mail advertising
  9. Leading Footwear Retailers

    • Leading footwear retailers continue to see sales declines
    • Clarks taken over by LionRock Capital
      • Figure 37: Leading footwear specialists: UK revenues, 2016-20
    • Kurt Geiger puts expansion plans on hold
    • Major retailers turn to CVAs or enter administration
    • Dune sticks to formalwear and applies for CVA
      • Figure 38: Leading footwear specialists: UK outlet numbers, 2016-20
    • LK Bennett extends administration and enters CVA
    • Hotter enters CVA
    • Soletrader restructures
    • Aldo UK arm enters administration
    • Sales per outlet
    • Shoe Zone shakes up board and shuts stores
      • Figure 39: Leading footwear specialists: estimated UK sales per outlet, 2016-20
    • Operating profit
      • Figure 40: Leading footwear specialists: UK operating profits, 2016-20
  10. Market Share

    • Non-specialists gain share
      • Figure 41: Estimated market shares for top 10 retailers of footwear, by value, 2018-20
      • Figure 42: Estimated market shares for top 10 footwear retailers, by value, 2016-20
  11. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Fruit and veg footwear
    • Tommy Hilfiger produces apple skin footwear
    • Reebok releases shoes with vegetable soles
    • Zèta Shoes launches footwear made of grape leather
    • Shoes made from dog hair and mushrooms
      • Figure 43: Emilie Burfeind’s ‘Sneature’ combining trainers with nature, 2021
    • Closing the loop
    • Melissa closes the loop with upcycled shoes
      • Figure 44: Upcycled Melissa x Rombaut collaboration, 2021
    • Biodegradable trainers that are home-compostable
      • Figure 45: The Voronoi runner fully biodegradable trainer, 2020
    • Salomon designs 100% recyclable shoes
    • Bottega Veneta unveils 100% biodegradable clog
    • Footwear collaborations
    • Cole Haan teams up with messaging platform Slack
      • Figure 46: Slack x Cole Haan trainers, 2020
    • Allbirds collaborates with streetwear artist
    • Birkenstock teams up with CSM graduates
    • Veja and Rick Owens team up for sustainable trainers
      • Figure 47: Veja and Rick Owens’ latest collaboration, 2020
    • Personalisation
    • Draw your own Jimmy Choo’s
      • Figure 48: Examples of shoe sketches released by Jimmy Choo, 2020
    • Luxury footwear brand Malone Souliers launches shoe design service
    • Nike allows users to customise trainers via smartphone
    • FAMZON offers customers customisable heels
    • Experiential stores
    • Foot Locker opens Singapore store with basketball court
      • Figure 49: Foot Locker’s new Singapore store, 2020
    • Adidas’ new Soho store focuses on local creativity
    • Virtual footwear
    • Farfetch launches tool to try footwear on virtually
      • Figure 50: Trying on AZ Factory trainers using the Farfetch virtual try-on service, 2021
    • JD partners with Sony to enable customers to measure feet online
    • Buffalo London releases shoes that can only be worn virtually
      • Figure 51: Buffalo London x The Fabricant Classic BurningFor digital shoe, 2021
    • Gucci releases digital trainers
    • Efforts towards inclusivity
    • Zappos trials single-shoe policy
    • Nike launches hands-free shoes
  12. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Total sector advertising spend plunges 26% year-on-year in 2020
      • Figure 52: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on footwear, 2017-20
    • Stay-at-home rules drive down advertising spend on shoes and boots
      • Figure 53: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on footwear, by product category, 2017-20
    • Digital accounts for the biggest share of sector advertising spend
      • Figure 54: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on footwear, by media type, 2019 and 2020
    • adidas is the single biggest advertising spender
      • Figure 55: Total recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on footwear, by leading advertisers, 2017-20
    • Sports footwear brands largely eschew TV advertising
      • Figure 56: Leading advertisers’ total recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on footwear, by media type, 2020
    • Campaign highlights
    • Skechers launches its biggest UK brand campaign to date
    • JD Sports recruits all-star line-up for its Christmas campaign
    • Dune focuses on its London roots with the help of X-Files star
    • Clarks honours its iconic Desert Boot and Black creatives in separate campaigns
      • Figure 57: Clarks Originals x FANGIRL In Her Shoes campaign, 2021
    • Hotter’s bold TV relaunch campaign
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  13. Brand Research

    • Brand map
      • Figure 58: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, March 2021
    • Key brand metrics
      • Figure 59: Key metrics for selected brands, March 2021
    • Brand attitudes: Clarks trustworthy and great customer service
      • Figure 60: Attitudes, by brand, March 2021
    • Brand personality: Schuh and Footasylum are fun brands
      • Figure 61: Brand personality – Macro image, March 2021
    • Brand personality: Russell & Bromley expensive
      • Figure 62: Brand personality – Micro image, March 2021
    • Brand analysis
    • Clarks trustworthy, reliable and highly recommended by those who have used the brand
      • Figure 63: User profile of Clarks, March 2021
    • Footasylum fun, stylish and an excellent customer experience
      • Figure 64: User profile of Footasylum, March 2021
    • Schuh fun and inexpensive
      • Figure 65: User profile of Schuh, March 2021
    • Office considered somewhat untrustworthy and not a brand not worth paying more for
      • Figure 66: User profile of Office, March 2021
    • Russell & Bromley exclusive, aspirational and expensive
      • Figure 67: User profile of Russell & Bromley, March 2021
    • Hotter Shoes functional, but somewhat innovative
      • Figure 68: User profile of Hotter Shoes, March 2021
    • Aldo inexpensive, but untrustworthy
      • Figure 69: User profile of Aldo, March 2021
    • Reading word clouds
  14. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • COVID-19 has presented issues for seasonal footwear
    • The rise in online shopping has made Amazon more of a threat
    • Shoppers now wait for sales before purchasing
  15. Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

    • People are cutting back on non-essential spend…
      • Figure 70: Changes in habits since the start of COVID-19, by gender, 4-12 March 2021
    • …as savings have declined
      • Figure 71: Changes in levels of savings since the start of COVID-19, by gender, 4-12 March 2021
    • Fewer people are buying fashion items
      • Figure 72: Changes in spending habits since the start of COVID-19, 4-12 March 2021
    • Online shopping has increased
      • Figure 73: People shopping more online since COVID-19, 16 April-12 March 2021
    • People have been reluctant to try product on in-store
      • Figure 74: How comfortable people are doing the following activities during COVID-19, 10-19 November 2020
    • Two in five do not expect to be taking a holiday in 2021
      • Figure 75: Holiday booking intentions for 2021, 4-12 March 2021
  16. Types of Footwear Bought

    • Footwear purchasing continues to decline
      • Figure 76: Number of people who purchased footwear, across categories, 2019-21
    • Women’s seasonal and formal styles suffer
      • Figure 77: Styles of women’s footwear purchased, 2019-21
    • Men turn to comfortable styles
      • Figure 78: Styles of men’s footwear purchased, 2019-21
    • Trends towards casual office attire will damage the formal market
      • Figure 79: Men’s formal footwear purchased, by employment status, 2019-21
    • People increasingly likely to buy just one style of footwear
      • Figure 80: Repertoire of styles purchased, by gender, 2019-21
  17. Types of Children’s Footwear Bought

    • Disruption in schooling has contributed to declines
      • Figure 81: Styles of children’s footwear purchased, 2019-21
    • Children’s footwear purchasing spread fairly equally across genders
      • Figure 82: Styles of children’s footwear purchased, by gender of purchaser, February 2021
    • Those with young children likely to purchase several styles
      • Figure 83: Repertoire of children’s footwear purchased, by age of children in household, February 2021
  18. Where Footwear Is Bought

    • More shopped for footwear online than in-store
      • Figure 84: Channels used for footwear purchasing, May 2020 and February 2021
    • Fewer young people are shopping via laptops
      • Figure 85: Online channels used for footwear purchasing, by age, February 2021
    • Online-only retailers show growth in customers
      • Figure 86: Types of retailer footwear was purchased from, 2019-21
    • Younger shoppers tend to prefer clothing or sports specialists
      • Figure 87: Types of retailer footwear was purchased from, by age, February 2021
    • Amazon is now the most popular footwear retailer…
      • Figure 88: Retailers footwear has been purchased from, 2019-21
    • …and alongside ASOS picked up the most shoppers since 2020
      • Figure 89: Percentage point change in retailers used for purchasing footwear between 2020 and 2021
    • Younger shoppers are less loyal to one retailer
      • Figure 90: Repertoire of retailers used for footwear, by age, February 2021
  19. Priorities for Footwear Shoppers

    • Over two in five shoppers value familiarity…
      • Figure 91: Factors prioritised when shopping for footwear, February 2021
    • …with older shoppers particularly susceptible
      • Figure 92: Factors prioritised when shopping for footwear, by age, February 2021
  20. Behaviours towards Footwear

    • Pain points for shopping footwear online can be lessened
      • Figure 93: Behaviours towards shopping for footwear online, February 2021
    • Shoppers now wait for sales before making purchases
      • Figure 94: Behaviours towards discounted footwear, February 2021
    • While many put off buying footwear, others invested in practical pieces
      • Figure 95: Behaviours towards footwear during COVID-19, February 2021
  21. CHAID Analysis

    • Parents and those buying shoes from clothing stores want sizing advice
      • Figure 96: Footwear Retailing – CHAID – Tree output, February 2021
      • Figure 97: Footwear Retailing – CHAID – Table output, February 2021
  22. Important Factors when Choosing an Online Retailer

    • Exclusive discounts pique shoppers’ interests
      • Figure 98: Factors that help people choose a retailer when buying footwear online, February 2021
    • One in five of those aged 16-24 want to try footwear on virtually
      • Figure 99: Factors that help people choose a retailer when buying footwear online, by age, February 2021
    • Young parents more likely to rely on discounts and pay-later schemes
      • Figure 100: Prioritising discounts and the ability to use pay-later schemes when shopping online, by age of children in household, February 2021
  23. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

    • Forecast methodology
    • Footwear forecast
      • Figure 101: Market size and forecast for footwear, 2015-25
      • Figure 102: Forecast consumer spending on footwear, 2020-25

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