The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated several existing trends in the French footwear market. Footwear spending has been weak or in decline for several years and dropped by an estimated 20% in 2020 to €7.5 billion. More and more of this spending has been moving online and we estimate that during 2020 e-commerce captured around 12% of the market. Increasing popularity of casual and sports footwear has enabled sports retailers to grow their market share, and they were well placed to benefit from the increased interest in exercise and outdoor activities during the various lockdown periods. The combination of these pressures has led to the failure of several well-established traditional footwear retailers and the restructuring of the two formerly dominant groups, Vivarte and Eram, resulting in a considerably more fragmented retail sector. The largest specialist chain is now sports footwear specialist, Courir, followed by Chaussea, a more traditional operator.  

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.

Areas covered in this Report

This report covers the footwear market in France, with a focus on footwear specialists.

The report does not cover non-specialists, such as department stores, in detail although these are covered briefly in the Channels of Distribution section and also in our consumer research.

The report combines analysis of the market in France, including market sizes, specialists’ sales and forecasts, along with our in-depth consumer data, which analyses shoppers’ behaviour.

For the consumer research we asked questions on the following topics:

  • How consumers had 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 towards shopping for footwear.

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

Consumer spending: The total amount spent by French 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.

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