Monday, March 19, 2007

Online shoe sales surge ahead

Online shoe retailing was as expected one of the last fashion items to become a popular shopping item, but not so anymore. Online shoe retailing is fast catching up with other online purchases. Gap opened its online shoe stores called Piperlime.com in November 2006 and in January this year, Amazon.com launched Endless.com, its own shoe site. Online shoe sales only added up to US$954 million in 2002 as compared to the total online apparel business of US$4.4 billion, while last year online shoe sales accounted for US$2.9 billion, about one third of the total online apparel business of US $9.6 billion, a pretty significant jump. The future is looking very bright indeed for online shoe retailers, with sales predicted to grow by 22% this year, ahead of the 18% growth rate predicted for online apparel.
"Apparel was the big behemoth," said Catherine Beaudoin, senior vice president and general manager of Piperlime. "It's falling like dominoes. Shoes are probably one of the last bastions because the feeling has been you have to try on shoes to feel comfortable."

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