US warning: watch out for (rising) shoe prices

American warning: watch out for (rising) shoe prices

Never, in the last 20 years, have shoe prices risen so fast. The alarm comes from the USA, by FDRA (Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America). Since the beginning of the year, prices have risen by an average of 3.2%, but in recent months, the increases have been more marked. This would be the consequence of a number of concomitant factors. For example: the increase in raw materials and transport costs, the lower availability of models and, also, the increase in employees’ wages, in particular, in retail. This means that American consumers could end up with fewer shoes on the shelves this holiday season, and that they will be sold at higher prices. An alarm which, from the USA, finds easy reverberations on all western markets. Europe included.

Watch out for shoe prices

In June, women’s shoe prices rose by 7% year-on-year. This is the highest increase in almost 32 years, says FDRA. In July, the price increase for the entire shoe industry was 4.6%, and in August 5.1%. In September, the trend picked up speed (+6.5%) with the women’s category increasing by 4.9%, men’s by 5.5% and children’s by +11.9%.

The reasons

As Footwear News reports, FDRA listed the reasons for a trend that it says could last for a few more months, including higher wages for retail workers and higher import duties and charges. And not only that. Also contributing, are global shortages of rubber and plastic, essential materials for sneakers production, coupled with the pandemic and power shortages in China, Malaysia and Vietnam. Container costs are also up 500% on 2019, Cowen analysts explain in a report. Overall, the unfolding scenario results in reduced margins for retailers, and higher prices for consumers.

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