The slump in consumption in Germany is leaving deeper and deeper marks in the German shoe trade. More than every tenth shoe shop closed its doors forever last year, said the general manager of the trade association Textile Shoes Leather Goods (BTE), Rolf Pangels, on the occasion of the "Shoes" trade fair in Düsseldorf on Monday. Overall, according to calculations by the association, the number of shoe shops fell by 1,500 or 13 percent to around 10,000 within a year. Pangels warned that the closures could make inner cities less attractive, especially in small and medium-sized municipalities.
The industry is also approaching the current year with a good deal of skepticism. According to a current industry survey by BTE, more than two thirds of shoe retailers want to reduce their orders from the shoe industry for the coming autumn/winter season. Only every tenth retailer wants to order more goods.
A problem in the industry: According to Pangels, the prices for shoes are likely to rise by five to ten percent this year as well. It remains to be seen how this will affect demand, said the industry expert.
According to calculations by the BTE, sales in the shoe trade increased by almost ten percent to a total of 11.5 billion euros compared to 2021, which was still characterized by corona lockdowns. Compared to the pre-pandemic level, however, there was still a minus of around 2.5 percent. While stationary shoe retail was able to increase its sales by around 26 percent in 2022, online retail lost around 19 percent of its sales, which had risen sharply during the Corona phase.
The German shoe industry increased its total sales last year by nine percent to almost 2.2 billion euros. Adjusted for inflation, business is only slightly up, said Manfred Junkert, Managing Director of the Federal Association of the Shoe and Leather Goods Industry (HDS/L).
Most of the shoes sold in Germany were also produced in Asia last year. The total value of shoes imported from China alone rose by 44 percent to 3.9 billion euros in 2022. The value of the shoes imported from Vietnam even increased by more than 58 percent to 2.7 billion euros.
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