WWD Digital Daily

Chinese Millennial­s Stock Up On Shoes


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.

Female respondent­s to a new survey kept on rotation 24 pairs of shoes on average, while it was much lower — 15.5 pairs — for men.

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