Good numbers for the week for footwear and apparel on the eve of several weeks where comps should start getting very easy. Good news all around.
Apparel sales for the week (per Sportscan) accelerated meaningfully, taking the 3-week average to about 12%. Footwear (per NPD) is a less impressive low single digit rate, but in looking at the really underlying trend we see it accelerating from a trough of -4% last month. The most notable point here is that we’re currently comping against some of the most difficult numbers in all of Fall 2010. Starting next week, both categories begin to comp against much easier yy numbers. Nike remains the most balanced grower, while a notable callout is Adidas US, which continues to track about +150bp of share gain – meaningful on top of a paltry 4.6% share base. UnderArmour is still putting up mid-teens growth in the channels captured. While footwear has started to accelerate in just the last few weeks, inventories ended last quarter +74%. We realize that this is not a fair 1 to 1 comparison, but it’s directionally bad.