Like in 2012, sales of sports shoes performed better in Europe than those of sports and leisure apparel last year. According to NPD's online consumer panel, the consumption of athletic footwear grew by 2.9 percent to €9.4 billion in 2013 in the five major European markets last year. It increased in all the countries, with Germany showing the largest increase.

It rose even in Italy, where the volume of shoes sold jumped by 6.9 percent to 36.3 million pairs, in spite of a 3.4 percent drop in average selling prices. Average prices went up in all the other countries, and they offset declines in volume of 1.0 percent in the U.K. and 1.9 percent in Spain.

Consumers said they spent 2.5 percent less than in 2012 last year on sports and leisure apparel in terms of volume and value, buying a total of 541.1 million units for €13.5 billion. Consumption levels declined the most in the U.K. in terms of volume, although average prices went up by 2.8 percent in the country. As in the case of footwear, Italians reduced their purchases of these items by 4.8 percent in volume but paid 1.2 percent more than in the previous year.

While the average price of a pair of sports shoes rose by 1.3 percent to €43.23 last year across the five countries analyzed by NPD, the average price spent on a unit of clothing remained flat at €24.96.

NPD's online surveys also show whether the market is growing or declining more in a particular age group or by gender. It shows whether sports participation or fashion is driving the market. It provides data on pricing trends and points to the brands, the retailers, the retail channels and the sports categories that are more instrumental in the market changes. Contact Renaud.Vaschalde@npd.com for further information.