Despite enjoying a recovery, online sales of footwear lagged other product categories in Germany during the second quarter. 

As the country eased lockdowns imposed in a bid to counter the coronavirus pandemic, online sales reported a higher-than-average increase in the second quarter, swinging back to growth after a slump in the first quarter, according to the latest figures from a wide-ranging survey by the Bundesverbandes E-Commerce und Versandhandel Deutschland e.V. (BEVH), Germany’s association of e-commerce and mail order operators. 

However, footwear underperformed, registering moderate growth. Overall online sales increased by 16.5 percent in the second quarter after a coronavirus-related downturn of 1.5 percent in the first quarter, with everyday and essential goods, such as food, pet supplies, and pharmaceuticals, posting the strongest growth. Meanwhile, online shoe sales were up by just 4.5 percent in the second quarter, generating sales of €1,062 million including value-added tax (VAT), up from €1,015 million in the second quarter of 2019. 

The broader clothing sector, including footwear, reported a 12.7 percent growth in the quarter, reaching €4,759 million including VAT compared with €4,222 million a year earlier.

In general, the study showed, in the apparel category, the coronavirus crisis led shoppers to cut back on purchases in March, allowing for just a slight recovery in April. As a result, the sales drop at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic could not yet be fully recouped in the first semester.