The footwear and apparel industry has experienced many challenges recently due to the difficult economy. US retailers have curtailed or reduced some manufacturing orders to keep their inventory levels low. Imports continue to slide, and the weak US dollar has created a lack of competitiveness for European footwear in the US market.
Athletic and toning footwear is on a solid upward trend at retailers, and the entire industry is reporting a level or slowly improving retail environment.
On the supply chain side, professionals in the footwear and apparel industry continue to focus on cost cutting, inventory and margin control, while still being mindful of seasonality and its required speed to market. Product innovation and SKU proliferation continue to be a challenge for efficient distribution.