The global footwear market is expected to grow by an annual average rate of 4.5 percent in value between 2009 and 2013, with the luxury segment enjoying the strongest pace over the period.

This rather optimistic forecast presented by at the annual convention last month of Anci, the Italian footwear industry association. It was based on research conducted by Corporate Value Associates (CVA) in behalf of Anci.

According to CVA, global sales of footwear are expected to drop by 2.3 percent to €148 billion in 2009 from €151 billion with 2008. The U.S. market, which represented 31 percent of shoe sales in value in 2008, will experience a 9 percent drop in turnover this year, according to the survey. Russia, which represented 12 percent of the global shoe market last year, will witness a 3.0 percent decline in 2009.

The 2009 forecasts made by CVA for Germany and France are more dramatic than the figures published so far by national statisticians. According to CVA, footwear sales in Germany, 6 percent of the global market, will fall by 6.6 percent this year, while those in France, which is also 6 percent of the market, should book a 4.0 percent decline. China, which represents 5 percent of the market, will instead enjoy a 4.3 percent increase in sales this year.

But from next year on, the market should enjoy constant growth, reaching €153 billion in 2010, €159 billion in 2011, €167 billion in 2012 and €176 billion in 2013.

Demand will be underpinned by a growing number of women entering the labor market, consequently boosting their purchasing power; an increase in low-cost imports and the spread of “fast fashion,” offering constantly refreshed collections in the course of the year. The market will also benefit from a return to economic growth and an increase in the number of very affluent people around the world.

Sales of economical shoes, priced below €15 a pair, are forecast increasing by 2-3 percent per year on average between 2009 and 2013. The turnover of footwear priced between €15 and €50 is seen rising by 1-2 percent, while sales of shoes priced between €50 and €100 are expected to go up by 2-4 percent.

The two most expensive segments will grow faster. Sales of shoes priced between €100 and €200 should enjoy annual sales growth of 5-7 percent, and luxury shoes, priced above €250, should see annual sales rise by 6-8 percent.

The market share of shoes priced below €15 is set to drop to 32 percent by 2013 from 33 percent in 2008, and the share for footwear priced between €15 and €50 will shrink to 34 percent from 36 percent. Meanwhile the top-tier segments will all increase their share of the global market. Shoes priced between €50 and €100 percent are due pass to 19 percent from 18 percent, those priced between €100 and €250 will rise to 9 percent from 8 percent and luxury shoes will reach 6 percent market share against 5 percent.