Footwear imports from China are up 2% this year after stabilizing its output last year, according to new findings from the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA). The group also saw some major gains in non-traditional footwear producing countries, “so it seems that there are an increasing amount of sourcing options for companies to consider,” said Greg Tunney, Chairman of FDRA and President and CEO of R.G. Barry Brands.
According to FDRA, footwear costs continue to rise, but less dramatically than recent years. The average price of a pair of shoes was up 5.7% in 2012, cracking the ten-dollar threshold for the first time. This follows an increase of 10.2% in 2011.
Footwear imports were down negligibly in 2012, coming in 0.4% less than 2011. In 2011, imports were off 3.4%. Overall imports are projected to grow from $23.4 billion in 2012 to $29.6 billion in 2017.
And after years of continued loss of market share, China begins to stabilize, providing 84% of all U.S. imported shoes in 2012, says FDRA. Accounting for 8% of all footwear imports, Vietnam continues to show impressive growth. By 2017, 14% of U.S. imports by value and 12% by volume will come from Vietnam.