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  • Last update : 15/03/2022
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Summary and extracts

1 Market Overview

1.1 Study definition and purpose

Sneakers refers to a pair of sports shoes that have been adapted for urban and everyday use. Derived from models designed for sports, they are appreciated for their comfort and style. In fact, sneakers are also fashion accessories that were used in the world of hip-hop in the 1980s before becoming, in the 2000s, streetwear brands that have spread into popular culture. In many countries, especially in the West, these shoes are widely worn as streetwear. Teenagers are the main users of sneakers as an everyday shoe, encouraged by the advertising campaigns of big brands. Nevertheless, consumers belonging to other age groups also love to wear them. For urban use, multi-sport shoes, or re-issued models from the 1960s-1970s are the most worn.

The global sneakers market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% between 2021 and 2024. Asia-Pacific is the dominant region in this market owing to the granidn umers of its population and rising average disposable income. These demographics, combined with the growing desire for a healthy and sporty lifestyle and more comfortable clothing explain the importance of the Asia-Pacific region for the global sneaker market.

In Italy, the growth rate of this industry is remarkable and was marked by +4% in 2018 alone. Admirers and collectors, who were and still are accomplices of social networks, have been joined by fanatics interested not so much in the object itself, but in the earning potential it offers. Thus, in Italy a very rich secondary market has flourished, around which a significant secondary activity has developed. it is a boom sustained by a demand that seems inexhaustible because, as always happens with bubbles, it is inflated by an unlimited confidence in the constant increase in prices.

What pushes today - especially a young audience - to spend big money for a pair of shoes is the uniqueness and fantasy that surrounds it: for this reason, most of the most coveted models see the identification with a character from the world of sports (such as Derrik Rose with Adidas) and music (Travis Scott with Nike), or partnerships with other fashion brands, such as Nike X Off White, by far one of the most profitable collaborations in the world of streetwear.

1.2 The Global Marketplace

The global sneaker market is expected to grow at a CAGR of *.*% per annum between **** and **** to reach a value of $** billion. This demand is mainly driven by the Asia-Pacific region, which has a large population and an increasing average standard of living. China is expected to account for **% of the ...

1.3 The Italian market

In Italy, the market is very dynamic. According to Pricewaterhouse Coopers (***)[***]

Market shares, sportswear sector Italy, ****, in percentage PWC

In addition, women are a growing target on which all brands in the sector are focusing, among women the most popular brand is Puma (***) with high-end brands starting to produce sneakers and ...

1.4 Exports and Imports

For data on imports and exports of sneakers we refer to the code"****** - Sports footwear "of UN COMTRADE.

As we can see from the chart, Italy is an importer of sneakers. Imports far exceed exports even though we can see that in the last years there has been an increase ...

1.5 Impact of Covid

Sportswear was heavily impacted by the COVID-** pandemic in ****. Italian consumers prioritized essentials and were more cautious when purchasing appareland footwear due to high uncertainty from the pandemic and ISTAT predictions of a sharp decline in the country's economy. However, sportswear proved to be a relatively resilient category in the fashion ...

2 Demand Analysis

2.1 An increasingly popular product in Italy

The footwear market is showing trends that see the sneakers segment growing, especially in terms of consumption by Italian families.

Already in ****, there was an increase in spending of *.*% more for sports footwear compared to the same period in ****, for a total of around *** million euros in value and **.* million pairs ...

2.2 Italians' favourite sneakers

Sneakers are a type of shoe that Italians love to use in any season because their invoice varies a lot; they can be sporty, classic, fabric or leather and all new and experimental fabrics. This type of footwear is able to represent both a casual and fashionable as they fit best ...

2.3 Demand driven by collectors

Sneakers have become much more than a consumer product for many buyers. There are many enthusiasts of this type of footwear and they do not hesitate to spend hundreds or even thousands every month to acquire the rare pair they need. These consumers are also known as sneaker addicts.

According to ...

2.4 The consumer profile

New post-COVID-** behaviors have accelerated some trends already underway in the customer journey and introduced new "mantras." According to a study conducted by PWC, **% pay more attention to their physical and mental health and wellness, especially millennials (***). **% of Italian consumers said they are more focused on their health and fitness, **% on ...

3 Market Structure

3.1 Market Structure

The sneakers market is part of the wider Italian footwear sector. This is one of the driving sectors of Italian fashion with a turnover that has been, until ****, steadily increasing. In **** it was *.*** billion euros, in **** *.** billion euros and in **** *.** billion euros. Despite this, the number of Italian companies operating in ...

3.2 Value and production chain

The supply chain of the sneaker market begins with the factory receiving all the components needed for production (***). Next, production can take place, after which the finished product is inspected and packaged. Since production and final consumption very often take place at a great distance from each other, the product is ...

3.3 Distribution and reselling channels

The distribution channels in Italy of shoes and more specifically of sneakers are mainly of two types: physical retail and online sales. Physical sales take place through different types of stores: stores specialized in fashion, stores specialized in shoes and large outlets.

The structure of the distribution channel of Italian fashion ...

3.4 The development of services and accessory products for sneakers

Sneakers are considered by many to be a collector's item, which means that their owners are willing to spend a lot of money to keep their pairs in good condition for as long as possible. This phenomenon is further enhanced by the advent of the second-hand market with the ability to ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.2 Prices of the most popular sneakers

The first two tables below provide an overview of the evolution of the price of a pair of sneakers over one year (***). There is therefore more volatility on women's models with pairs selling at a high price but quickly losing value. In general, most mainstream sneaker models are sold at a ...

4.3 Multi-brand collaboration

A collaboration or "collab" is a brend partnership that is made between two companies to create a product that features both brands. This strategy is often used to utilize the strengths of both companies or simply to create a unique product that appeals to broader targets.

The collaborations between designers, celebrities, ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Regulatory framework

Labeling Rules

When purchasing shoes, whether shoes, boots or sneakers, consumers are often attracted only by elements such as style, color and price, partially ignoring quality. Information about the materials used in the various parts of the footwear (***) must be given special attention at the time of purchase, so much so ...

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Latest news

On: Roger Federer's beloved Swiss sneakers arrive in Paris - 09/11/2023
  • Opening of first On store in France on November 17
  • On's main markets: USA, Germany, UK
  • On listed on Wall Street since 2021
  • Roger Federer holds a 3% stake in the On brand
  • On sales in 2022: 1.2 billion Swiss francs (1.25 billion euros), up 69% on the previous year
  • On profit in 2022: 57.7 million Swiss francs
  • Sales target for 2023: 1.76 billion Swiss francs
  • The On brand was created in 2010 by three Swiss: Olivier Bernhard, Caspar Coppetti and David Allemann
  • Production locations: footwear in Asia, apparel in Portugal, Turkey and Eastern Europe Boutiques in Zurich, London, New York, Los Angeles and China
  • On products sold in over 9,800 points of sale in sixty countries
Zalando's challenges for growth on the European scene - 12/10/2023
  • Sales volume in 25 European markets: 14.8 billion euros
  • Sales: 10.4 billion euros
  • More than 16,000 employees, including over 3,000 in technology
  • 12 logistics sites in Europe and 3 under construction, including 1 in France, at Montereau-sur-le-Jard (77)
  • More than 50 million active customers
  • It references 7,000 brands Its market share by volume in online fashion in France is 3.4%, placing the company in 5th position, behind Vinted (12.6%), Amazon (9.1%), Shein (8.4%) and H&M (3.9%) (source: Kantar, 1st half 2023).
On Running, Roger Federer's beloved Swiss sneaker, on the rise in the United States - 26/03/2023
  • - Sales in 2021: 1.22 billion Swiss francs (1.23 billion euros), representing annual growth of 69%
  • - Share of sales in the United States: 60%
  • - Profit in 2021: 57.7 million Swiss francs
  • - Sales forecast for 2022: 1.7 billion Swiss francs (+39%)
  • - U.S. sniper sales in 2022: $57.4 billion (+2%)
Zalando back on earth for Europe's online fashion champion - 09/03/2023
  • Zalando has just announced sales down 0.1% to €10.34 billion.
  • Zalando gained 2.7 million active customers last year to pass the 51 million mark.
  • maintains target of 10% share of €450 billion fashion market
New Balance will reach $5.3 billion in 2022. - 02/03/2023
  • New Balance sales in 2022: $5.3 billion, up 21% on the previous year.
  • Number of New Balance stores worldwide: Over 500.
  • Number of New Balance partners: Over 3,000.
  • New Balance has invested $65 million in a factory in Skowhegan, Maine
  • Over the past ten years, New Balance has managed to double its sales.
Zalando to cut hundreds of jobs - 21/02/2023
  • The Berlin-based online fashion specialist employs 17,000 people worldwide
  • Since its foundation in 2008, Zalando has become one of Europe's leading online apparel retail groups
  • Zalando employs 17,000 people worldwide
  • Program to reduce staff by several hundred positions

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Foot Locker Italia
Under Armour
Calzaturificio Frau
On Running
New Balance

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