Can Retailers Combat Consumer Desire for Counterfeits?
For some shoppers, buying fake goods can be about as good as the real thing. 
It's not clear how big the global counterfeit market is, but research suggests it costs American retailers a sizeable amount of lost revenue. Per a  2018 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Customs and Border Patrol seized an estimated $1.38 billion worth of knockoff merchandise in fiscal year 2016 alone.

Counterfeit sales were a problem long before digital marketplaces emerged. Now, online sales of fake merchandise have become a growing problem for retailers. While some consumers mistakenly purchase knockoff merchandise, a notable number of consumers find it perfectly fine to buy fake goods and have done so on purpose, multiple experts told Retail Dive. To combat online counterfeit sales, retailers face the problem of addressing not only the appeal of affordable knockoffs but also the rise of third-party sellers on online marketplaces. And they'll likely need international law enforcement agencies' help to effectively do so. 
FDRA's National Shoe Sales Reports 
US Shoe Store Retail Update
Starting from a broader perspective, overall retail demand grew robustly in January, expanding 4.4% year-over-year in the latest month, a bit faster than the average rate of growth witnessed over the last few years. The US Census Bureau is reporting sales at gasoline stations (up 10.4%) and miscellaneous store retailers (+9.5%) primarily drove the January jump in overall retail sales & food services. 

Canadian Shoe Store Retail Update
Starting from a broader perspective, overall retail demand grew again in December, expanding a seasonally-adjusted year-over-year 2.4% in this latest month, the fastest pace in eight months. Ten of Canada's thirteen provinces and territories posted gains in retail demand from twelve months ago, while the other three contracted. Similarly, nine of Canada's eleven main retail sectors also saw gains. 

2019 Shoe Store Employment: A Year in Review, and a Look Ahead

The US shoe store labor force posted some remarkable trends in 2019, indicative of a retail sub-sector in transition as the number of outlets declines but sales grow to a record and competition across the economy for a dwindling supply of labor remains fierce. Recently the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported its  latest read  on America's labor market, indicating hiring surged in December by 225,000, a record 112 straight months of job creation. 

Prospects for a Rebound in Women’s Footwear Prices in 2020

Rising retail prices for women’s footwear early in 2020 are hinting some relief may be in store this year for importers and retailers catering to this key target market. Recently the federal government reported its  latest read  on US consumer prices, including retail prices for footwear. The report shows headline inflation grew 2.5% year-over-year in January—the fastest in fifteen months—while overall footwear prices rose 0.9%, the sixth straight expansion. 

Kicks Over Coffee:
The State of the Shoe Marketplace Including the Impacts of the Coronavirus
A special Andy x2 episode! Andy Gilbert, President of Genesco Licensed Brands, joins Andy Polk to chat about the the footwear retail environment. From consumer shifts, product trends as well as hits from tariffs and the coronavirus we cover the good the bad and ugly. We talk about the impact of Bob Campbells passing - a footwear legend. And at the end we dive into a serious conversation about coffee - both Andy’s are coffee addicts, but one takes it a step beyond…listen to find out what that means! 
From Nordstrom to Gucci, Why So Many Brands are Turning to Temporary Retail Right Now
Since emerging in 2009 as a way to fill mall vacancies amid sky-high lease prices during the Great Recession, pop-ups remain a powerful part of retail. From Snark Park at Hudson Yards to the 14-room Rosé Mansion in New York’s Manhattan Mall, 2019 saw its fair share of viral pop-ups.

And the flash retailing trend shows no signs of slowing down in 2020. In a new survey by the Department of Retailing at the University of South Carolina, more than 80% of 600 retail organizations that did at least one pop-up in 2019 said it was a success, and 58% said they would do another one.

But brick-and-mortar and hybrid retailers agree that short-term sales are not the main goal of investing in temporary retail. At a time when shopping malls are dying off, pop-ups give online retailers brand awareness while allowing them to connect face-to-face with customers and move inventory. For footwear brands, in particular, temporary retail gives customers the chance to touch and try on product, which can be a deciding factor before investing in a new pair of shoes.
Instagram Overtakes Facebook in Audience of Top 50 Brands, Study Says
Instagram has overtaken parent company Facebook's social network among top 50 brand profiles and audience size, per a  quarterly report by Socialbakers  that was shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer.

The research also found that brand engagement on Instagram and Facebook dropped during the holiday season, possibly indicating that brands didn't understand what kinds of content were appealing to consumers.

Ad spend on Instagram Stories, the app's feature for disappearing posts, rose 40% from a year earlier to reach 10% of Instagram's total ad spend at the end of Q4. Spending on Facebook Stories also grew, but to just 0.4% of total spend on the social network. Facebook's core News Feed still led with about 58% of total ad spend, per Socialbakers.