US: ShoeStats report points to rising footwear sales
A snapshot of US footwear industry market trends shows consumption jumped 14% last year as the economy began to strengthen, and that shoppers bought 2.27bn pairs of shoes - equivalent to more than seven pairs of shoes for every man, woman, and child in the country.
The data, from the ShoeStats 2011 report produced by the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), examines business and trade information related to US footwear consumption, production, employment, imports, and retail prices.
"After a difficult 2009, the US footwear industry has reason for optimism," said AAFA president and CEO Kevin Burke.
For the first time, the report also contains information on employment within the US footwear industry.
"The industry experienced some growth in employment numbers to account for nearly one million US jobs within the footwear industry," Burke said. "Because almost 99% of footwear sold in the US is produced internationally, it is clear that these well-paying US jobs are directly supported by international trade."
The group, which represents footwear retailers and importers, is campaigning for passage of the Affordable Footwear Act, legislation that would eliminate tariffs on about 60% of shoes imported into the US each year. The taxes add more than 25% to the retail price of a pair of shoes to cover import duty.
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