The debate on heels, part 2: the sentence of numbers

The debate on heels, part 2: the sentence of numbers

According to researches, studies and consumption analysis, as it seems, stiletto heels are left with no chance: sneakers rule, sandals fly, slippers are rising. And some brands, looking at their sales figures, are thankful.

Let’s not beat around the bush. One of the most explosive effects of the pandemic is the strengthening of sneakers. A trend matching the relaunch of sandals and the return of slippers, in a fashion chic version. This could be the new domestic code of footwear and, at the same time, a sentence for heels. Numbers are disclosed in some researches and also in the financial statements (and not only) of those who are deeply rooted in that kind of segment.

The sentence of heels, according to Euromonitor

A Euromonitor International research has calculated how in 2020 the demand for branded shoes decreased by 21%, 2% more compared to -19% of global footwear consumption. Not only: domestic confinement, secondly, also conditioned the choice of models. In fact, in the year of the pandemic, request for high-heeled shoes diminished by 12%. The trend for high-heeled boots is similar: it registered a fall by 9% compared to the previous year.

Verdict of The Lyst Index

The Lyst Index publishes, every three months, the placement of the most desired brands and fashion products world-wide. We are talking about online research, because Lyst is one of the main research engines of the web for fashion. The most recent reference is to the fourth quarter of 2020, considering the monthly behaviour of over 9 millions of consumers within a digital catalogue of 12,000 brands and e-stores. We see the triumph of slippers and sandals, whose research increased by 242%. Combat boots with rubber outsoles are doing well and it is not by chance that they are one of Bottega Veneta’s footwear bestsellers. The search for high-heeled shoes has dropped by 12%.

Two financial confirmations

Among the most searched models, according to Lyst, we have the Ultra Mini by UGG and the iconic Clog Boston by Birkenstock. This issue has to be taken seriously into consideration, because it is based on solid financial confirmations. In the last fiscal quarter of 2020, UGG made 12,2% more compared with the same period in 2019. In other words, they closed the quarterly financial report at 877 million dollars, attracting something like 2 million new customers.

Birkenstock, on the other hand, played it safe, even if, considering their type of management and longevity (the foundation dates back to 1774) maybe they did not need to. The German brand, that uses Italian leather, in fact, was sold to the L Catterton fund for – rumour has it – something like 4 billion euro. An absolutely not secondary detail is that L Catterton is a private equity company supported by LVMH. No need to add anything.