After seeing slow but solid retail volume growth and slightly higher current value growth for most of the review period, in 2020 footwear turned to strong decline. The temporary closure of non-essential retail outlets during the lockdown in the first half of the year to prevent the spread of COVID-19 contributed strongly to decline.
Nevertheless, some independent Canadian footwear brands continued their expansion despite the challenging economic and retail conditions, due to the popularity of their products amongst Canadian shoppers. For example, Montreal-based Maguire opened a store in Toronto, whilst Toronto-based Zvelle also opened a Toronto location in addition to its e-commerce stores.
Athleisure was one of the main trends that continued in 2020, due to more people working from home and not having to wear formal footwear. In addition, the health and wellness trend, which was accelerated by COVID-19, also supported demand for sports footwear.
Footwear is set to see a rebound to strong retail volume and current value growth in 2020. COVID-19 is expected to come under better control as vaccination is due to start from the first half of 2021, which will gradually restore consumer confidence in visiting store-based retailers and spending money.
Canadians are expected to maintain demand for casual and comfortable footwear early in the forecast period, as COVID-19 will remain a health concern and consumers are likely to hesitate to return to indoor sports activities in large numbers. Sports, performance and activity footwear in particular are therefore anticipated to recover rapidly.
As previously discussed, consumers generally gravitated to comfortable and casual footwear styles in 2020. Although this is expected to continue in the forecast period due to the continued impact of COVID-19, as well as more relaxed dress codes at work, more dressy and formal styles appropriate for work, such as dress shoes, are expected to begin recovering later in the forecast period, as more consumers return to workplaces and as COVID-19 restrictions are gradually loosened and consumers can enjoy formal nights out.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Footwear industry in Canada with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Footwear research and analysis database.
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