After already seeing a significant double-digit retail volume and current value decline in 2020, footwear continued to see its sales fall in 2021, although at a slower rate. This was mainly due to the shift to working from home as a result of the pandemic.
Whilst overall sales of footwear continued to decline in 2021, sports-inspired footwear, such as sneakers, witnessed considerable gains in popularity, as working from home served to bolster the existing trend towards casualisation. The trend towards sports-inspired footwear was also supported by shifts in consumer behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic had a significant impact on consumers’ shopping behaviour, which made manufacturers and retailers keen to implement new business models and services. For instance, at the end of 2020 Isetan Shinjuku store launched Your FIT365 Home, which allows the fitting of women’s footwear at home using the Mitsukoshi Isetan remote shopping app.
Japan has a traditional business culture, which largely limited working from home until COVID-19 made it a new option for millions of workers. However, it is likely that working from home will gain more widespread acceptance in Japan even when the threat of COVID-19 diminishes, as processes are now in place, it has benefits for both employers and employees, and has proven to work.
Facing a declining and ageing population, digital technology will be a key focus of footwear players’ development strategies during the forecast period. For instance, smart shoes are gaining momentum amongst sportswear brands, as consumers make growing use of digital technology to monitor their health and exercise performance.
Japanese consumers’ interest in sustainability is still comparatively low, with only a third of respondents trying to have a positive impact on the environment, which is the lowest amongst all countries surveyed in Euromonitor International’s Lifestyles survey, fielded January to February 2021. However, COVID-19 has helped Japanese consumers think about social issues as a personal problem, which has greatly increased awareness of sustainability.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Footwear industry in Japan with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
If you're in the Footwear industry in Japan, our research will help you to make informed, intelligent decisions; to recognise and profit from opportunity, or to offer resilience amidst market uncertainty.
This is the aggregation of children's footwear, men's footwear and women's footwear. Includes all men’s, women’s and children’s outdoor and indoor shoes made of materials as leather, fabric or plastic. Outdoor shoes includes all dress shoes, trainers, sports shoes, sandals, boots, pumps, and high heels. Indoor shoes includes house-shoes and slippers. Items must be new when sold to the consumer; second-hand/used footwear is excluded. Antique and/or vintage footwear is also excluded. Sports footwear (broken out as a separate category) is included in total footwear figure. One pair of footwear constitutes one volume unit.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Footwear research and analysis database.
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