Footwear market analysis: Factors affecting global footwear market
The footwear industry is a billion dollar industry that offers a wide range of products. From platforms to flip flops, this industry attends to the needs and tastes of diverse clients. It is a highly sensitive industry considering the millions of pairs of shoes that are bought every year. The industry is affected by many factors both internally and externally.
Generally, the footwear industry is penetrable for entrants who have access to cheap raw materials and labour. This is the reason behind great successes of footwear industries in countries such Ethiopia, India and China. The footwear industry is labour intensive and requires low skilled laborers hence it is easier to penetrate. New entrants can also invest in machinery which can help to stitch and assemble the shoes.
There is stiff competition amongst the existing footwear manufacturers and this is mainly because of the high demand of shoes in different parts of the world. Basically, analysts divide the footwear industry into two sectors, the athletic footwear industry and the non-athletic footwear industry. The athletic footwear industry is popularly known for brands such as Adidas, Nike, Puma, Reebok and Fila amongst others. These are shoes designed for athletic activities and outdoor lovers. Hiking boots and sports shoes are also categorized under athletic footwear. There is high competition amongst the manufacturers of these shoes and this is evident in the obscene amounts of money used in advertisements and endorsements.
On the other hand, the non athletic shoes encompass all the other shoes that are not designed for outdoor or athletic activities. These may include boots, platforms, Mary Janes, wedges, heels, oxfords and brogues amongst other shoes. These shoes come in different shapes and designs but are made to suit the preference of diverse clients. Different consumers have different tastes and preferences and it is important for companies in the footwear market to take into consideration this important factor in order to succeed.
Health concerns and comfort have taken center stage in the footwear industry in as far as consumers are concerned. This is because of many arising health issues that affect clients who purchase the wrong shoes. Such concerns have led the manufacturers in the footwear industry to change certain aspects of their shoes. For instance, there is high technology and innovativeness incorporated in the manufacture of shoes. This includes round heels, contoured soles and heavy cushions in the shoes to make them as comfortable and safe as possible.
Economic factors always affect the footwear industry. The footwear market performs way better when there is economic boom and many clients are able to afford different types of shoes. For designers, this is actually the best time to come up with new and more expensive designs as there is a guarantee of finding market. On the other hand, recession is often followed by poor sales in the footwear market. Designer shoes rarely sell and the designers bear the biggest losses.
Increasingly, more clients in the footwear industry have become demanding. There are many social and economic factors affecting the sales and growth of shoes. Clients now look out for the best quality and long lasting footwear. They also consider the social conditions under which the shoes were manufactured. A company with good reputation for quality and affordable shoes made from legitimate workers as opposed to child laborers can make more money in this industry.
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