High heels and open-toe sandals are gaining traction amid a return to occasions – Footwear News

Evening shoes are on the rise as consumers return to in-person events like cocktail parties and weddings.

“Dress shoe sales are shifting from pumps — a more conservative, work-oriented style — to open-toe sandals, which are more occasion-oriented,” said Beth Goldstein, fashion footwear and accessories analyst at NPD.

Overall, NPD found that between January and May 2022, high heels gained market share over low heels, driven by returning events and opportunities. It marks a move away from the strictly sporty and comfort styles that have defined much of the pandemic.

For men, hybrid shoe styles that pair sneaker soles with more formal silhouettes accounted for around a third of sales of oxfords, pilots and loafers between January and May, up from less than 20% in 2019, according to data from NPD Retail Tracking.

“Although still not back to pre-pandemic sales levels, men’s dress shoes are showing a strong recovery and are the fastest growing segment of the men’s market, facing a particularly difficult year. “, Goldstein said. “Looking at pockets of growth versus 2019 before the pandemic, the men’s market is driven by hybrid shoe styles.”

The data matches what retailers have been saying throughout the first quarter. In recent months, executives at Macy’s, Nordstrom and Caleres have seen a shift to dressy and casual footwear and clothing as more people attend social events and work in person.

In the first quarter, executives at Macy’s and Nordstrom both cited a return to second-hand dressing. Sales at Bloomingdale’s, owned by Macy’s, in the first quarter, on an owned-plus-licensed basis, rose 26.9%, driven by sales of dresses, men’s bespoke, men’s and women’s contemporary and luggage.

“Client has made a significant shift to post-pandemic categories, such as dresses, men’s suits, footwear, fragrance, beauty and luggage, while pandemic categories have slowed (casual, sportswear , home and soft textiles),” Cowen Equity wrote. Research analysts in a note on Macy’s.

Genesco, which owns Journeys, Johnston & Murphy and Schuh, highlighted a global shift from athletic to casual styles, which has been a theme across Genesco’s geographies and brands. wedges, which owns Famous Footwear, said the 46% year-over-year improvement in sales of its portfolio of brands was the result of strong consumer demand, “particularly for formal wear and workwear,” CEO Diane Sullivan said.

NPD also found that evening bag sales between January and May 2022 grew faster than the rest of the handbag market compared to last year, with evening bag sales returning to 2019 levels.

Bergdorf Goodman, owned by the Neiman Marcus Group, also cited an increase in second-hand and salvage outfits in New York, reporting that sales of handbags rose nearly 80% and shoes saw an increase. by 60%. Fine clothing increased by more than 30%.

In apparel, NPD found sales of dresses were up 42% from a year ago and 14% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019. NPD’s consumer tracking service has revealed that nearly a third of American consumers buy dresses for a special occasion.

“Dresses are making a comeback, having been one of the hardest hit areas of the apparel market when the pandemic began,” said Maria Rugolo, apparel industry analyst at NPD. . “The trend today is on both sides of the spectrum: the casual and the ultra-dressy.”

Comments are closed.