Footwear Wholesaling in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld has Been Updated

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Despite the economic recovery, footwear wholesalers have little to look forward to. Although demand for shoes will improve in line with the economic recovery, retailers' increasing price-setting powers are pushing footwear wholesalers out of the game. Furthermore, an increase in cheap imports will cut into domestic sales. Wholesalers will be forced to slash prices and wages just to stay competitive, causing their profit to suffer. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Footwear Wholesaling industry in its growing industry report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Cheap imports and the continued offshoring of manufacturing will intensify price competition

The Footwear Wholesaling industry is suffering, with revenue dropping at an average annual rate of 1.5% to $29.1 billion over the five years to 2012. Industry recovery over the five-year period is supported most strongly by the 0.5% uptick during 2011 and the 1.0% increase expected in 2012. “As the economy begins to show signs of a solid recovery, consumers will purchase more shoes,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Justin Waterman. “This trend will resonate through the Shoe Stores industry and trickle back to wholesalers in the form of stronger demand.”

The increasing price-setting power of retailers, which downstream stores use to cut costs, has forced many unprofitable shoe wholesalers out of the game. Enterprise numbers are estimated to decline at an average annual rate of 1.4% over the five years to 2012 to total 3,623. The Footwear Wholesaling industry has a low level of concentration, as it has a fragmented market that has a mix of small and large participants, the largest of which is major player Adidas AG. “The highly competitive nature of this industry will continue to place pressure on participants to close operations or merge to maintain profitability,” adds Waterman. “Even wholesaling customers like large, well-established department stores are subject to mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcy.” Additionally, low-cost imports have made cheaper shoes available on the domestic market, forcing some wholesalers to slash their own prices and take in slimmer profit margins. In response, wholesalers have cut costs by reducing wages. From 2007 to 2012, aggregate industry wages are expected to decline at an average rate of 1.3% per year to $1.8 billion.

The industry is not forecast to show signs of consistent improvement for the five years to 2017. While revenue is anticipated to grow in 2013 as a result of the slowly recovering domestic economy, revenue is forecast to decline on average during the five-year period. Cheap imports and the continued shifting of manufacturing operations to low-cost countries will intensify price competition for wholesalers, further reducing the number of operators by 2017. Overall, footwear wholesalers are not faring well due to the recurring negative effects from upstream and downstream industries. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Footwear Wholesaling in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Operators in this industry wholesale footwear (including athletic shoes) made of leather, rubber and other materials. Businesses in this industry purchase shoes from manufacturers and resell them to retailers with minimal or no further development or processing. Most wholesalers in this industry undertake sales and administrative activities, such as establishing relationships with manufacturers and retailers.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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