Comfort sandals are a bright spot for independent footwear retailers.
According to The NPD Group, total sandal sales among independents grew eight percent to $1.2 billion in the 12 months ending March 2015, accounting for 16 percent of the dollar sales in the channel. This spike is in addition to the nine percent increase the category experienced in the previous year.
It should come as no surprise that Birkenstock led sandal sales. The trendy comfort brand has become a fixture in the wardrobes of the young and old, bringing new customers to independent footwear retailers. Finn Comfort, Naot, Vionic and Keen rounded out the list of The NPD Group’s top five selling sandal brands.
“Footwear brands regarded for comfort are responding to today’s trends with products that not only stay true to their reputation, but also expand their reach with more diverse and fashionable options,” said Marshal Cohen, The NPD Group chief industry analyst.
The growth in sandal sales is a healthy boost to a retail channel that has slowed down in recent months. Despite increased sales in sandals, slippers and sneakers for both men and women, The NPD Group reported that overall growth in the independent footwear channel has leveled in the 12 months ending March 2015.