Athletic Shoe Stores in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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The Athletic Shoe Stores industry ran through some rough times when the recession decelerated the US economy. However, the industry got back on track as more Americans became aware of the growing obesity trend, and consumer incomes increased. As the trend toward exercising increases, so will industry sales; but, these sales will level off as more people use the athletic shoes they bought coming out of the recession, slowing revenue. This may put downward pressure on industry profit margins, but will not likely have a detrimental effect. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Athletic Shoe Stores industry to its growing industry report collection.

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Recent gains were enough to offset recessionary troughs, bringing overall growth in the positive

The Athletic Shoe Stores industry rebounded strongly from recessionary challenges. When the recession hit in 2008, Americans' financial confidence fell apart, causing many to hold off on discretionary purchases, including athletic shoes. Price discounts further depressed revenue despite driving a higher volume of sales. However, when consumer confidence finally increased in 2010, people who previously held off on athletic shoe purchases proceeded to buy them. “In addition, the public is becoming increasingly aware of the obesity epidemic in the United States, stirring up a wave of health-consciousness that has encouraged Americans to exercise and, therefore, buy athletic shoes,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Agata Kazcanowska. Furthermore, increased athletic activity puts more wear and tear on athletic shoes, necessitating more frequent purchases to replace worn out footwear. As a result of these factors, IBISWorld estimates that revenue will grow 1.7% per year on average to $10.0 billion during the five years to 2012. Revenue will rise about 8.4% in 2012 alone, as rising disposable incomes allow consumers to afford premium-priced shoes.

Profit expanded quickly and consistently during the past five years. At first, deep discounts to drive sales on athletic shoes during the recession squeezed profitability. Firms then gained leverage to raise prices as consumers shifted their focus from price to quality. Additionally, athletic shoe stores bought more of their products from low-cost countries abroad, expanding profit margins. According to Kazcanowska, small firms that shut down due to unprofitable operations also allowed the high-profit major companies to gain a larger market share and contribute to expanding profitability. For example, Nike grew its market share and enjoyed a healthy profit margin of more than 20.0% throughout the past five years. Consequently, average industry profit expanded from 3.6% of revenue in 2007 to about 10.2% in 2012. The industry is expected to continue growing consistently as Americans are increasingly health-conscious and gain confidence in their financial stability, facilitating purchases of expensive, high-quality shoes. However, the wave of new customers from the health-conscious movement will slowly plateau. As a result, revenue is forecast to grow in the next five years.

The top four companies in the Athletic Shoe Stores industry garner a combined market share of 80.7%; more than half of this is generated by Foot Locker Inc., which hold 43.0% of industry revenue. Foot Locker operates over 3,000 stores that carry a variety of brands, which has contributed to its large revenue base. Meanwhile smaller players are generally independently owned and cater to a specific geographic market, they are also more likely to specialize in a specific type of athletic shoes, like running shoes. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Athletic Shoe Stores in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry includes retailers that primarily sell athletic shoes, such as running shoes, basketball shoes and sneakers; these stores may also sell apparel. Stores that primarily sell specialty sports footwear, such as golf shoes, bowling shoes, and spiked shoes, are not included in this industry (included in the Sporting Goods Stores report 45111). Used goods and online sales are also excluded from this industry.

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
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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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