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Stiletto sales are stumbling because of Covid-19

High heeled shoes are seen on display at the Museum of Modern Art
Reuters/Stephanie Keith
All dressed up and nowhere to go.
  • Marc Bain
By Marc Bain

Fashion reporter

Among the spaces Covid-19 has closed around the world are countless offices, nightclubs, and other habitats of formal footwear. Dressy styles such as heels—both high and low—as well as oxfords and loafers were already getting bumped from everyday use by more casual and comfortable options, such as sneakers and flats. Now there are fewer occasions to wear them, and so less reason for shoppers to buy a new pair.

Combined with the widespread store closures and shoppers cutting back on non-essential items, the situation has squeezed sales of dress shoes.

“We’re definitely concerned about the dress shoe business at Jimmy Choo,” John Idol, CEO of Capri Holdings, said on a July 1 earnings call. Capri owns the footwear maker as well as fashion companies Michael Kors and Versace. “Really the dress shoe business, in general, is under pressure,” he added.

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