An estimated 49 percent of 18- to 29-year old’s and 36 percent of men intend to spend more on footwear during the 2020 holiday season, according to a new telephone survey from the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America that was conducted earlier this month by Emerson Polling in Boston.
The results also suggest that 41 percent of consumers are likely to purchase new footwear for themselves or as gifts this holiday season. Conversely, 34 percent of respondents said they are “not likely to purchase new shoes” during the period. Regionally, the strongest “likely to purchase” footwear areas are the Western U.S. (51%) and South (47%) with the Northeast (32%) and Midwest (24%) less likely.
The trade group’s survey also shows that 71 percent of footwear buyers will make their purchase online versus 29 percent that will either shop in-store or do retail curbside pick-up. Demographically, older consumers (50-64 and 65+) are more likely to purchase in-store (45%) or at curbside (44%).
Only 21 percent of respondents said they were “not comfortable in stores” while malls (36%) and department stores (28%) were cited as the most comfortable places to look, try on and purchase footwear. Men (17%) and women (16%) were about equal in their respective comfortability with shopping in strip malls for shoes.
But what types of shoes will consumers be most often purchasing this holiday season? And where will they browse most often online? What are they willing to pay for new footwear?
Casual shoes (43%) were the clear winner given they were the top choice of every age group with the exception of the 50-64 set that intends to buy athletic shoes (47%) at a higher rate. Overall, athletic shoes were buying choice of 36 percent of respondents, followed by fashion/dress or boots (20%). Most online shoe shoppers (44%) use Amazon for their footwear browsing and purchasing, down from 50 percent in the year-ago FDRA survey, with retailer (20%) and brand (19%) websites trailing. By ethnic classification, white shoppers (50%) rely more on Amazon for shoe browsing and purchasing than their Black (34%) and Latino (20%) counterparts.
An estimated 53 percent of survey respondents said they intend to pay between $100 and $250 for new shoes this holiday season, followed by 33 percent that want to pay $100 or less. Most of those willing to spend $100-250 on footwear live in the West (40%0 and South (39%) with the Midwest (13%) and Northeast (9%) trailing.