Footwear Import Data (Total Volume and Price) 
With the government recently reporting new data, FDRA has produced its monthly Footwear Import Data Reports.   

After sinking each of the previous eight months, U.S. footwear imports rebounded modestly in November, rising a year-over-year 3.8% in volume terms but slipping -1.3% in dollar terms.  Year-to-date shipments now are off -6.6% (dollars) and -6.0% (pairs) from the first eleven months of 2015, confirming our April outlook that imports would stall following a robust start to the year.
China remains--by far--the dominant supplier, but its dollar share of YTD US footwear imports is just 58.2% and is on track to fade to the lowest annual share in eighteen years.  In fact, the  Chart of the Month below shows the volume of Chinese footwear imports shrank in November to the lowest share in nineteen years.  At the same time, shipments from Vietnam, India, and Cambodia expanded at a double-digit rate in 2016, continuing to take share from China.  
Join FDRA's Calls This Week! 

Please join a conference call tomorrow (Jan. 24th) as FDRA launches it's Footwear Innovation Working Group
- a group that discusses new manufacturing and material innovations.  Tomorrow's call will discuss upcoming events and programs, as well as an update from two of the industry's leading companies.

Please join FDRA for a call on Wednesday (Jan 25th) for a very important call on President Trump ending America's involvement in TPP and wanting to renegotiate NAFTA
- these have huge impacts on footwear trade and costs. Be sure to join and listen to FDRA analyze the politics and the policy behind these moves! Click here for FDRA's statement on the withdraw from TPP.

Alert! Rubber costs have seen an impressive spurt, primarily due to Thai flooding...May contribute to higher sneaker costs    

FDRA's Latest Footwear Material Cost Report 
This report provides detailed analysis for footwear inputs and other costs impacting the footwear supply chain to help companies better track these costs.  It includes oil, shipping, cotton, rubber, and other key data points related to footwear sourcing and production.

Three In-Depth Footwear Sourcing and Trade Insights You Must Not Miss 
Over the last month, FDRA's Shoe-In Show (the footwear industry's podcast) featured several key episodes every footwear sourcing director will want to hear.  These episodes have good insights into changes to global production and supply chains.  We encourage you to listen to these at your desk, on your way to work or download them all in iTunes or your podcast player for your next trip to Asia!

Exploring Wolverine Worldwide's Global Footprint with Mike Jeppesen (President of Global Operations Group and Wolverine Heritage Group)

PierPass Alternatives Discussed at LA-Long Beach Ports

Terminal operators at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have been working in recent months with industry stakeholders to review new extended gate proposals for PierPass.

PierPass was created at the ports in 2005 to address congestion, security and air quality at the two ports, which together comprise the busiest complex in the nation.

"Extended gates have provided a way to even out cargo flow between day and night," said Port of Long Beach Managing Director of Commercial Operations Noel Hacegaba. "We're very supportive of efforts to create a new, more efficient system that continues to pay for night gates and provides good, all-day service to our customers and their partners."

A final draft report with recommendations is expected in April.
Why 3-D Was the Biggest Trend in Footwear Tech in 2016
From 3D printing to robots that are changing the way shoes are made, 2016 was the year footwear got tech-y.

3D printing technology got plenty of lip service from the industry this year, and in some cases much more than that. Adidas, for instance, released its first commercially available 3D printed shoe, as did rival New Balance. Even non-athletic shoe companies, like People Footwear and Ryka, got in on the action.

Adidas' Reebok unit also gave a sneak peek of the future with its own Liquid Factory, which utilizes state-of-the-art software and robotics to literally draw shoes in three dimensions. Nike, meanwhile, has been slower to the 3D race, but announced a key partnership with HP, the popular printing company, which would expand its 3D printing capabilities.

Footwear Production & Compliance Events

Mark your calendars and register for these upcoming events!

A look at new and changing laws on chemicals in footwear. Featuring leading experts and industry leaders presenting on changes to state, national and international laws.  Be sure to attend, or send your product safety specialist to ensure you are up-to-date on all things product safety!

April 20 - 21, 2017: The Future of Footwear Production
The first conference day will be about "smart manufacturing", in other words: how can we take existing production methods to the next level, making them more local, functional and able to provide custom-made footwear. The second day will focus on "disruptive manufacturing", discussing entirely new methods of footwear manufacturing, from print farms to generative design systems and biotechnology solutions.  Join 150 footwear professionals in the Netherlands for this innovative look at how footwear production is changing. FDRA's Andy Polk will be a speaker at this event.

June 21, 2017: FDRA's Asia Summit
A one day look at footwear production challenges and solutions featuring top factory groups and sourcing executives. Focused on helping factory owners and managers, sourcing executives and agents understand the current sourcing environment in China and Vietnam. Last year 150 attendees got actionable intelligence - do not miss out! If you are a U.S. sourcing executive be sure to plan a trip to visit your factories around this summit. Registration opens soon.    

July 25, 2017: The Footwear Sourcing Summit
THE networking event for sourcing executives and professionals! Last year this one day summit explored new innovations to production, sourcing shifts, and key insights from sourcing execs from Caleres, Steve Madden, Fila, and Under Armour to name just a few. Do not miss out on key insights and networking!

Supply Chain Insight: A Rivalry is Heating Up Between and Amazon for the Internet's Highest-selling Products 
Clothes took over as the top-selling category online in the US, and Amazon is cornering the market. Owner of sites such as Zappos, it's set to become the largest apparel retailer in the US in 2017. Given that its apparel margins are higher than most other categories, according to analysts, that bodes well for future profits., the Walmart-owned, rapidly growing competitor, isn't daunted. The company announced Jan. 5 that it has acquired, a Zappos rival with more than 800 brands and a product assortment that also includes clothes and accessories. The $70 million deal closed at the end of 2016.

The move lets Jet quickly establish a presence in that valuable online market for shoes and apparel, even if it won't dethrone Amazon anytime soon. ShoeBuy will continue to operate as a standalone site, according to Walmart's press release, and brands will have the option to sell through Jet directly, giving it a potentially profitable foothold in a high-margin space.

Sponsored by
Port of Long Beach