Kobe Bryant unveils the Nike Kobe 8 System at a media event in Los Angeles.… (Nike )
Port Washington, N.Y., based market research firm NPD Group reports that sales of basketball footwear were up 14% dollar-wise in 2012 compared with the previous year, with January and February 2013 showing sales gains on the first two months of 2012, up 11% and 6%, respectively.
According to the results of NPD's recent study, which tracked sales of performance, sports lifestyle and classic basketball shoes at athletic specialty/sporting goods stores, department stores, national chain and footwear chain stores, hoops-related kicks clock in as "one of the fastest growing athletic footwear categories."
Another interesting finding in NPD Group's latest survey: While the top three cities for basketball footwear revenue in 2012 were New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, respectively, New York was the only one of the three to also rank in the top three fastest-growing basketball footwear markets, with dollar sales up 22% from 2011 to 2012.
That puts it at No. 2, just ahead of Atlanta's 19.1% jump in basketball shoe sales in the same period and just behind the 23.4% increase in dollar volume reported in the Washington, D.C., area.
According to NPD, the D.C. market was also tops by another measure -- the highest average selling price for a pair of basketball shoes ($88.81) among the top 10 markets.
Since NPD's announcement didn't hypothesize what might be behind the surge in sales or the heftier price tag, we'll just have to assume it's some kind of ... wizardry.
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