Economy: There’s No Business Like Shoe Business


How’s the economy going?

Ask a shoe saleswoman.

Worse than flat. Heel-busted.

Shoes were off — sales that is — at the end of February by 5.1 percent year over year, according to Census Bureau data.

(Who knew the head-counters are on their toes on this one?)

A year ago, shoe sales were kicking, up 10 percent over the previous year.

Now, the current slump (rhymes with pump) pales (or pick another shade) in comparison with the track record in April 2009, when sales were off more than 10 percent, year over year, in the midst of the financial crisis that tripped up the stock market.

These figures have not been massaged — and a trend has clearly jelled.

Dr. Scholl, the sole authority on consumer (arch) comfort, could not be reached for comment. (He was tied up.)

History, however, suggests a bounce-back is likely: Shoe sales had a spring in their step in the spring of 2010, up 7.5 percent year over year. In fact, a reboot is certain.

And before we put  a sock in it, we’ll say: Every good recovery must find an outlet.

(With thanks to Alex Tanzi and Bloomberg data.)

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