A ‘Perfect Storm’ for Shoe Brands: As Shoppers Demand Discounts, Trump Tariffs Push Supply Chain Costs Higher
As the pandemic drives price-conscious consumers to seek deep discounts, President Donald Trump’s tariffs are pushing supply chains costs higher for brands — a “perfect storm” for shoe players, according to the FDRA.

“The problem facing the shoe industry is historic,” said Matt Priest, president and CEO of the National Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America. “This sort of divergence has never been this dramatic and impactful as 99% of all shoes sold in America are imported.”
Typically, Priest said, supply chain and retail prices rise and fall together, but not in 2020, according to new FDRA predictions.

FDRA's National Shoe Sales Reports 
US Shoe Store Retail Update
Starting from a broader perspective, after a disastrous spring, overall retail demand rebounded again in July as more stores re-opened and retailers and shoppers alike adjusted to the new retail environment. Retail sales rose 2.7% year-over-year in the latest month, higher for the second month following three straight months of steep declines. The US Census Bureau is reporting sharp sales declines at clothing & clothing accessory stores (down -20.9%) and restaurants and bars (down -18.9%) that weighed on July overall retail sales. 

Canadian Shoe Store Retail Update
Starting from a broader perspective, after contracting sharply over recent months months, overall retail demand rebounded in June, climbing a seasonally-adjusted year-over-year 3.8% in this latest month, the biggest advance since September 2018. Twelve of Canada's thirteen provinces and territories posted gains in retail demand from twelve months ago, a welcome improvement from a dismal spring. And nine of Canada's eleven main retail sectors enjoyed renewed demand, with a few seeing the biggest gains in several months.

Matt and FDRA's Chief Economist Gary Raines discuss the latest unemployment numbers.
Shoe Store Employment Struggles for Footing with Broader Retail Market

While furloughed shoe store workers continue to be recalled following widespread coronavirus-induced layoffs this spring, a reckoning across the broader retail marketplace bodes poorly for many of those jobs ever to return. Recently the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported its latest read on America's labor market, indicating nonfarm payroll employment rose by roughly 1.4 million workers from July to August, the fourth straight month the economy added more than a million workers. 

Children Lead the Way: Implications as Kids’ Retail Footwear Prices Drop in July

Dull demand for footwear stemming from the coronavirus continues to weigh on retail shoe prices, with boys’ and girls’ footwear prices falling in July at the fastest rate in years. Recently the federal government reported its latest read on US consumer prices, including retail prices for footwear. After stretching to a record in February, shoe prices tumbled year-over-year each of the next five months as the pandemic spread across the country.

Dan Post Boot Camp: Digital Product Testing Drives Speed, Sell-in, and New Style Success
Learn from Stephanie Greenfield, Managing Director of Product Development at Dan Post Boot Company, how the iconic western brand is leveraging digital product testing and the Voice of the Customer to get to market faster with winning new styles.
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Amazon Prime Air gets FAA clearance for drone delivery on 'highly rural' test range
Over the last few years, drone delivery has grown from an unproven idea into a fully functional business model, albeit with limited applications. UPS was granted FAA approval to carry out commercial drone deliveries last year, and its Flight Forward arm has since begun working with hospitals on implementing drone applications.

Amazon applied for its FAA exemption last year, and the company's Worldwide Consumer​ CEO Jeff Wilke told the re:MARS conference Amazon would be able to start drone delivery "within months." But Amazon has been part of the drone delivery conversation since the early days, with CEO Jeff Bezos outlining the idea seven years ago on 60 Minutes.

"The reason why Amazon and others are pushing for drone-based delivery services is twofold," said Matthias Winkenbach, director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Megacity Logistics Lab. "One, it provides speed, and two, it can provide efficiency."