BEIJING — Chinese shoe cabinets are growing — and the average Millennial in the country now owns 21.2 pairs of shoes, a report from K11 Chinese Millennials Taskforce found.
The research, which focused on the 566 million members of the “BAT generation” — so called as it is the first wave of consumers that grew up digitally with companies Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent — sampled 2,170 respondents in three Chinese cities: Hong Kong, Shanghai and Wuhan. Of the respondents, 69 percent were born between 1980 and 1994 and 31 percent between 1995 and 2010, with a male to female split of 32 percent and 68 percent, respectively.
Female respondents kept on rotation 24 pairs of shoes on average, while it was much lower — 15.5 pairs — for their male counterparts. By city, too, clear trends also emerged, with Shanghainese being the most shoe crazy.
“Shanghai and Wuhan have 32.3 pairs and 23 pairs, respectively, Hong Kong with just 13.8 pairs on average is significantly lagging behind.…Each respondent has 4.3 pairs of sneakers on average,” the study said.
In 2016 alone, sales of footwear in China were up to 451.2 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $57.2 billion, according to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Overall, the industry has clocked an average annual growth rate of 6 percent from 2012 to the present, rising by 87.5 billion Hong Kong dollars.
Of this, sales of women’s shoes delivered 49 percent of the total, men’s 38 percent and children’s shoes 13 percent. By 2021, it is estimated that the Mainland footwear market will be worth around 547.8 billion Hong Kong dollars.
The report also found that male platform shoes are in demand — saying that “thanks to the booming K-pop culture, one in three of the 697 male respondents own platform shoes and over 62 percent of them have five or more pairs in their shoe cabinets.”
Younger males were less likely to wear them compared to older Millennials. Only 20 percent of all Jiuwuhou — those born between 1990 and 1994 — male respondents indicated they had platform shoes, while the figure for Balinghou — those born between 1980 and 1989 — was 34 percent.