The UK footwear trade is characterized more by imports than exports, with the annual value of arrivals from European Union countries amounting to 2.6 billion British pounds. Over the years, the EU has gained primacy over non-EU sources as an import partner of the UK for footwear. Similarly, the EU is the leading destination for UK footwear exports.
For UK footwear retail, 2018 was not the best year. Footwear and leather goods sales declined that year, compared to the year before, both in terms of sales value and quantity bought, by over 5 percent each. Having said that, consumer prices associated with footwear (including repairs) dropped over the years, leading to negative inflation since 2016.
Some of the most popular global footwear fashion brands originate in the UK, such as Dr. Martens, Hunter Boots, and Clarks. The iconic British brand Dr. Martens, active in markets outside the UK, has seen its worldwide sales skyrocketing to over 450 million British pounds in 2016. The brand was acquired by the London-headquartered European investment company Permira in 2014.