The Japanese footwear market has been forecast to experience a slightly negative constant value compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through to 2016. This will be an improvement on the CAGR of -2% recorded between 2006 and 2011.
This negative increase in performance will be down to the increase in unit price, as the increased production costs in China will be transferred to retail prices and as affluent older consumers will upgrade their footwear to value added shoes such as comfortable shoes.
The footwear environment in Japan is highly fragmented, with the top five players - Puma Corp, Asics Corp, Mizuno Corp, Nike Japan Co Ltd, and New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc, leading in 2011, equally holding 5-6% value shares.
The most dynamic category in 2011 was children's footwear, which actually experienced a current value growth of 2%. This positive performance was attributed to the strong growth of children shoes, which incorporated technologies that companies claimed to help children run faster.
A leading children's footwear manufacturer, Achilles Corp, saw sales of its leading shunsoku brand exceed 30 million units since its launch in 2003.
Factors driving growth in this sector included increased marketing by such manufacturers, children's word-of-mouth recommendations in schools, and a change in product development, shifting its focus to technology-based children's shoes from standard children's shoes with cartoon characters.
For more information on the Japanese footwear market, see the latest research: Japanese Footwear Market Report
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