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Holiday Hoop Dreams: Athletic Footwear Sales Increase 11%

Many holiday revelers will find athletic footwear under their Christmas trees. Athletic footwear sales increased 11 percent, or $93 million, during the five weeks ending Dec. 6, the NPD Group reported. And basketball footwear contributed a whopping $50 million to the increase.

Per tradition, Brand Jordan took the biggest slice of basketball footwear sales over Thanksgiving week (Nov. 23-29), or $28 million out of the $37.3 million grand total. This year sales were driven by one shoe in particular, the Jordan VI Retro Mid, which raked in $25 million of Brand Jordan’s dollar sales.

While Brand Jordan remains on top, the NPD Group noted that other areas of the basketball category are changing. During this time period, half of all basketball shoes sold were over $100, compared to 35 percent in 2012.

Matt Powell, vice president of industry analysis for The NPD Group’s Sports and Leisure Trends practice, said premium price points continue boost the market, noting that sales for basketball shoes over $100 accounted for nearly all the growth in sales for the period.

Powell said, “I expect the strong basketball trend to continue into 2015 as the largest brands are very focused on controlling inventory. Unrequited demand is keeping interest high on the part of the consumer.”