NEW YORK — Ankle-height “bootie” styles continue to reign supreme in the mass-retailer footwear space, according to a research report by BB&T Capital Markets that was based on in-store visits.
At Macy’s Herald Square flagship retail analyst Corinna Freedman said in the report that “sell-throughs of fashion footwear remain challenged, though fall sell-ins are reportedly solid. We see pockets of newness in fashion footwear but believe that overall fall fashion trends remain focused around the bootie as a key item once again.”
Freedman deduces that bootie sales remain strong due to the fashion-minded updates that brands have brought to the style, including cutouts and lower shaft profiles. A predominance of suede and fringe treatments in the market “build on spring’s festival/bohemian looks,” she wrote.
As for taller boots, Freedman said the style has been “somewhat de-emphasized for pre-fall and fall” in reaction to last year’s boot season, which saw a large portion of taller-shaft boots being heavily marked down.
In the high-heel market, the analyst noticed that heel heights have shifted to a lower profile, averaging three inches instead of a prior propensity for five-inch-tall stilettos.
Regarding Macy’s handbags, Freedman noted the assortment was anchored by three brands: Coach, Kate Spade and Michael Kors.
Freedman said “for Coach, we believe shops-in-shop traffic was the slowest of the three major brands.” The analyst described Coach’s traffic as “abysmal,” even with 25 percent of the brand’s inventory on markdown.
Kate Spade was in the middle of the group in terms of traffic and sales performance, and at 10 percent off, it had the least amount of markdowns, Freedman said.
Michael Kors had the steepest markdown at 30 percent, but Freedman said traffic and sales were the highest. The analyst noted that the majority of Kors’ marked-down assortment was comprised of “fashion colors, primarily brights.”