China’s market share in footwear has dropped to 10.5% from 11.2% a year ago, a survey of retailers by research firm Cozy said on Monday.
“Shoes are a major source of revenue for many Chinese brands, but the sector has suffered from a lack of demand, slowing consumer demand and falling sales,” said the survey by Cozy, which surveyed 1,600 retailers across the country, excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“The decline in shoe sales has been the biggest challenge for Chinese brands in recent years, with Chinese brands facing a lack in sales, which is reflected in a slowdown in sales growth,” it added.
“A decline in sales has hurt brands in China, as consumers were less willing to pay for shoes.
The impact of this on brands has been significant, as it has affected their business and business margins.”
The survey of 1,500 retailers also found that shoe sales in China dropped 2.5%, from an all-time high of 17.2 million units in March, while in the US it declined 1.9%.
“The industry remains fragile in China,” the survey said.
“In addition to the drop in sales and a slowdown of sales growth, the slowdown in demand has also hurt brands’ business and profitability, as well as hurt their competitiveness.”
Shoes have been the second-biggest source of profit for brands in the country after cars, and are used for the vast majority of the footwear sold.
More than a quarter of all footwear is imported from overseas, with brands spending about 30% of their revenue on footwear, according to Cozy.
“There are signs that China is on the right path to recover from its economic crisis, but a strong rebound in the sector will require more investment,” it said.
The survey was conducted on the first day of China’s annual parliamentary session, which begins on Tuesday.