The new norm of working from home and staying indoors to reduce social interactions in the wake of the pandemic have led to decline in demand for and purchases of formal footwear styles for both men and women, including styles such as heels or dress shoes. In addition, the growing trend for dressing in casual wear to the workplace has also driven down consumer spending on formal footwear products.
The trend for staying indoors and increased social distancing due to strict COVID-19 restrictions have led to declines in outdoor sports activities. Between April and June 2020, Singapore’s government implemented a 2-month long “circuit breaker” lockdown, whereby only essential services could operate.
Given the reduced participation in outdoor sports, many Singaporeans have picked up running as their main form of exercise during the lockdown, due to the fact that it is a solo activity that does not require group participation. Furthermore, consumer engagement strategies such as virtual running events organised by footwear players such as New Balance have also helped boost the uptake for running.
With the physical retail environment stifled due to strict social distancing measures, footwear brands have started to develop omnichannel strategies that can help close the gap between offline and online channels, as operating in a single channel would serve as an obstacle in providing a seamless customer experience. For example, Salvatore Ferragamo arranged home appointments whereby sales representatives visit clients at home to show them digital catalogues of their product offerings for them to pick and choose the products they would like to purchase, before delivering the actual product to consumers’ doorsteps.
Footwear players are also playing further into the athleisure trend as they shift towards more versatile everyday footwear with comfort as the main positioning. As such, sneakers continue to remain popular formats of footwear among consumers, as they provide both comfort and fashion catered towards the athleisure crowd.
In light of the pandemic, many fashion malpractices such as material wastage due to overproduction have come under the spotlight, hence prompting fashion players to ramp up their sustainability efforts. Within the footwear scene, players have been innovating footwear using sustainable materials.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Footwear industry in Singapore 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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