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US Athletic Footwear Industry Reaches $17.5B

When it’s deliver-or-die, supply chains become the lifeblood of a company. To that end, the fashion industry has embraced technology to navigate today’s hyper-complicated supply chain, with myriad solutions shaping the first, middle and last mile. Call it Sourcing 2.0.

A return to retro has meant big bucks for the athletic footwear business—it’s also what seems to have kept the sector above water in a year roiled with uncertainty for retail.

The U.S. athletic footwear industry grew 3 percent to $17.5 billion in 2016, and unit sales were also up 3 percent, according to new data from The NPD Group.

“For more than a decade, U.S. sales of athletic footwear have averaged about a 4 percent annual increase, but 2016 will go down as a slightly below average year; however, given the sports retail landscape in 2016, it is understandable why this happened,” Matt Powell, NPD vice president and sports industry analyst, said.

The Sports Authority and Sports Chalet bankruptcies had their impact on the industry, most of which hit the fourth quarter the hardest. Powell said he expects the impact will still be felt through the first quarter, but things should return to normal after that.

Read more at Sourcing Journal.

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