What you need to know

Italians spend more per head on footwear than most other European countries, making this an attractive market for retailers of shoes. However, spending growth has been slower over the last few years as the weak Italian economy has squeezed incomes and impacted on consumer confidence. We estimate it was worth €12.6 billion (including VAT) in 2018.

Specialist retailers are generally doing well. Their sales have been growing quite strongly, with the middle and mass market thriving at the expense of the more premium end. The sector has a growing international influence – the online players, Amazon and Zalando are here, while European market leader, Deichmann has around 80 stores and is expanding.

Online is underdeveloped, but growing fast, particularly through the mobile channel. Most of the footwear specialists now sell online, but lag behind the pureplayers in terms of range and services offered.

Areas covered in this report

This report covers the footwear market in Italy, 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 Italy, 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:

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

  • Agreement with a variety of attitude statements towards shopping for footwear.

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

Consumer spending: The total amount spent by Italian 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.

Channels of distribution: Mintel estimates of the proportions of spending on footwear via other channels, including the grocers, mixed goods retailers and non-store retailers.

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