Basketball sales grew 24% in the five weeks to 6 December

Basketball sales grew 24% in the five weeks to 6 December

Sales of athletic footwear, especially basketball shoes, are faring well in the US this holiday season, and its the premium price points that continue to drive the market. 

Athletic footwear sales rose by 11%, or US$93m, in the five weeks to 6 December, information company The NPD Group said, with basketball growing 24% and contributing $50m to the increase.

While the category continues to gain momentum, it is changing in terms of price bands. During the period, 50% of basketball footwear sold for all wearers was over $100, compared to 35% in 2012.

Brand Jordan took the lion's share of basketball footwear sales over Thanksgiving week (23-29 November), or $28m out of the $37.3m total. In addition, $25m of Brand Jordan's dollar sales came from one shoe: the JORDAN VI RETRO MID.

"Basketball footwear is on fire, and it's the premium price points that continue to drive the market," said Matt Powell, vice president of industry analysis for The NPD Group's Sports and Leisure Trends practice.

He later added: "I expect the strong basketball trend to continue into 2015 as the largest brands are very focused on controlling inventory. Unrequited demand is keeping interest high on the part of the consumer."