Retail in Asia

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Taiwan’s sports shoe demand jumps in 2011

Governmental efforts to promote healthy living through regular exercises appears to be bearing fruit, if performance of the sports shoe market is any indication. Demand for sports shoe last year registered a 25 and 16 percent jump in value and volume respectively, bringing the total sales of sports shoes in Taiwan to exceed 8.5 million pairs, and market value to reach USD488 million in 2011.

Global leading market research company, GfK revealed the latest results of its sports shoes retail audit at the recent GfK Taiwan Sports Shoes Seminar entitled Retail Market Insight of Sport Shoes – from Consumer Experiences to Consumer Choices.

"The growth of the sports shoe market provides a clear sign that the Taiwanese government’s intensive sports campaign over the recent years have been successful in reaching out to the people," commented Lydia Huang, General Manager of GfK Taiwan. "Indulging in sports and other forms of exercises appear to be on the rise and have somewhat evolved into a social phenomenon in Taiwan, boosting the sales of sports shoes," she added.

Males are apparently the bigger sports enthusiasts compared to females as they form the larger bulk of sports shoe buyers in Taiwan. According to GfK tracking, three quarter of the overall market revenue is contributed by sales of male sports shoes.

GfK Taiwan also conducted an adhoc survey to understand the exercising habits of Taiwanese, which revealed that 70 percent of Taiwanese do some form of sporting activities every month. The inclination is higher amongst the male population, with 76 percent of them saying they have exercised in the past one month, as compared to the females—only 64 percent does any form of exercise on a monthly basis.

GfK Roper Consulting also shared some insightful sports related consumer trend. When it comes to health and well-being, consumers around the world have certain aspirations. Aligned with the global average, over three-quarters (76 percent) of Taiwanese consumers expressed that they are very focused on their long term health, over three in five percent (62 percent) also said that they actively look for products and services that help them lead a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, healthy ideals have a tendency to outstrip reality when it comes to taking actions. While one in two agreed (50 percent) that health activities are important, only 29 percent actually put their belief into practice.

"To help the consumers develop a positive attitude and habit of doing exercise can present a wealth of potential for manufacturers to expand their sport shoes market," Lydia Huang suggested, "Innovation is the key to success, the branding strategies have to be more creative to gain the attention of consumers and communicate with them."