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Report: U.S. Footwear Consumption Reached a Record $74 billion in 2013

On average, Americans each spent $1,141 to purchase 64 garments and 7.5 pairs of shoes in 2013, more than any other country in the world, according to Apparel Stats 2014 and ShoeStats 2014 reports released by the Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA). The reports examine the business and trade information related to U.S. apparel and footwear consumption, production, employment, imports and retail prices.

AAFA president and CEO Juanita D. Duggan said, “The industry continued to fire on all cylinders in 2013. As a result, apparel and footwear contributed a record $361 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013, a bigger contribution than new cars, alcohol, toys, or practically any other industry.”

In particular, in 2013 every American, including every man, woman and child in the U.S., spent on average $234 on footwear, totaling a new record of $74 billion, a 2.2% increase compared to 2012.

Footwear retail prices are on the rebound, too, indicating consumers’ willingness to purchase shoes at a higher price point as they continue to recover from the recession. Shoe prices increased 2.4% in 2013, and are up 7.4% from 1999 levels, however the report noted that overall retail prices are up 40 percent from the same period.

Made in USA footwear continued to grow, with production increasing 8.5% over 2012. Still, AAFA’s findings indicated that 98.5% of all shoes sold in the U.S. are imported, and despite a decrease from 2012 levels, China remained the No. 1 supplier of shoes to the U.S. market, accounting for 81.4% of imports in 2013. Vietnam, which accounted for 9.9% of U.S. shoe imports, was second.

Duggan said, “The fact remains that the U.S. apparel and footwear market is dependent on international trade.” She added, “Therefore, we call on Congress and the Obama administration to take immediate action on long-pending trade legislation and trade agreements to help the industry’s 4 million U.S. workers, and the country’s 316 million consumers.”