Key issues covered in this Report:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the footwear retailing sector

  • Channels used for buying footwear

  • Which retailers and outlet types people buy footwear from

  • The strategies of the major specialist footwear retailers and their online presence

  • Opportunities for growth for specialist footwear retailers.

This report series covers the footwear market in the four large Western European countries – the UK, France, Italy and Spain. The focus of the reports is on the footwear specialists. The store based non-specialists, such as department stores, are not covered in detail although they are looked at briefly in the Channels of Distribution sections and also in our consumer research. But the country reports do look more closely at the impact of online in the sector and the major online players.

Our exclusive consumer research spans all four countries. In each of these markets, we asked consumers about:

  • How consumers shopped for footwear, in-store or online

  • Which retailers had been used for footwear shopping, in-store and online

  • Agreement with a variety of attitude/behaviour statements about shopping for footwear

Additional questions were asked to consumers for the UK report.


For the purpose of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Consumer spending: The total amount spent by households (including sales tax) through all retail channels – both specialist and non-specialist. This covers all footwear categories, including trainers, but excludes game-specific footwear (e.g. football boots, ski-boots) and orthopaedic footwear.

Retail sales: Total sales of all types of footwear (excluding sales tax) via stores and directly to the consumer by specialist retailers of footwear. It includes online sales of these retailers where the majority of sales are in bricks and mortar outlets.

Financial definitions

Financial definitions used are:

  • Sales: Turnover as reported by the company, excluding VAT.

  • Operating profits: The return made on trading. This is the profit after depreciation, but before finance charges, tax, amortisation and any exceptional items, such as property profits or impairment charges.

  • Pre-tax profits: Profit after all charges, including exceptional charges but before tax.

  • Operating margin: Operating profits as a percentage of sales.

  • Pre-tax margin: Pre-tax profits as a percentage of sales.


CAGR Compound Annual Growth Rate
COICOP Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose
CPI Consumer Prices Index
e Mintel Estimate
f Mintel Forecast
GDP Gross Domestic Product
jv Joint Venture
MBO Management Buy Out
: :
: :

VAT rates

Figure 1: VAT rates around Europe, 2016-21
01-Jan-16 01-Jan-17 01-Jan-18 01-Jan-19 01-Jan-20 01-Jan-21
% % % % % %
France 20 20 20 20 20 20
Italy 22 22 22 22 22 22
Spain 21 21 21 21 21 21
UK 20 20 20 20 20 20
Back to top