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Footwear is a huge and increasingly diversified business, driven by a host of demographic, lifestyle and fashion trends. As a result, the industry is being segmented ever more finely as seen in the diversity of mainstream footwear trends — from casual comfort to sexy stiletto, and the fact that, in recent years, a far greater range of styles has become acceptable in the U.S. workplace. The liberalization of footwear norms coincided with an era of greed and seemingly endless conspicuous consumption where $150 sneakers and $500 pumps were easily consumed with ever-expanding consumer credit.
However, with a new economic reality comes a paradigm shift in the consumer mindset. For some consumers, charge now and pay later has been replaced with pay now or don’t buy at all. Instead of feeling good about expensive or ostentatious brands as they have in the past, many consumers will increasingly feel good about getting the best value, making the smartest choice, or not spending at all in 2009. The surge in frugality has brought back a variety of money-saving behaviors from days of yore, such as layaway and home cooked meals. Even cobblers are making a comeback.
Packaged Facts estimates the global footwear market at retail grew two percent over the 2007 level of $189.3 billion to $192.3 billion in 2008. Though the U.S. market grew at an annual rate of six percent between 2004 and 2008, growth in 2008 was much more subdued at less than two percent. For the footwear industry, an ongoing consumer paradigm shift in attitudes towards greater frugality and less conspicuous consumption means high-flying fashion brands may suffer at the expense of less expensive alternatives. But can the major marketers and retailers adapt?
The Global Footwear Market: Athletic and non-Athletic Shoes examines these questions and many others by looking at the current market, trends, major brands, and consumer preferences. The report presents concise, thought provoking analysis of various aspects of the footwear industry and provides a forecast for the market through 2013.
Read an excerpt from this report below.Research Methodology
The information presented in this report was obtained from primary and secondary research. Primary research entailed on-site examination of footwear products in retail stores and consultations with footwear industry observers and executives. Secondary research involved canvassing information from financial, marketing, and trade publications, company literature, and independent research reports, plus reviews of industry group websites, such as the American Apparel and Footwear Association, and blogs and readers’ comments posted on these sites. Information was also gathered from the U.S Department of Commerce’s U.S. Census Bureau and major players in the industry. Other market data sources included the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), and Experian Simmons Market Research Bureau (New York, NY) Winter 2008/09 Study of Media and Markets.
About the Author
Cogitamus Consulting is a branding and market research boutique in NYC that's all about hard work, imagination and common sense. Working with our clients, we custom tailor solutions and provide creative, thought-provoking analysis that address the most pertinent questions facing marketers, through general business consulting, white papers, and branded product concept and strategy development.
Market Insights: A Selection From The Report
Segments to Show Similar Growth
Packaged Facts expects all segments to show rather slow growth overall with men’s non-athletic footwear and children’s footwear leading the pack at slightly better than one percent annually through 2013. Slower growth is expected in children’s and women’s athletic footwear.
Class: Authorized or Mass
Footwear may be distributed on a mass (unlimited) or authorized (limited or franchise) basis. Mass-distributed footwear is supplied to a variety of retail outlets without limits or restriction; little or no attempt is made to protect retail accounts from competition or maintain product exclusivity. Mass-distributed products are generally lower-priced, often a benefit resulting from higher unit volume and faster turnover. As implied, mass-distributed products have a much wider range of distribution than authorized-distribution (limited) footwear. Common retailers consist of national retailers, local and regional discount shoe stores, and warehouse clubs.
Authorized distribution is restricted in part based on geography to reduce competition at the retail level for each individual brand. The selected outlets may be the only selling agents of the manufacturer within a specific territory, and therefore have a protected franchise, but the degree of restriction on a limited distribution line can vary depending on market. For example, a particular product line may be distributed through only one outlet in a small town, whereas in a major metropolitan area, several outlets might carry that same brand.
Outlets for limited distribution can also be selected on the basis of clientele and image. The prime outlets for limited distribution are usually “class A” department stores, shoe stores, and sporting goods stores. In some cases, marketers are able to reserve a predetermined amount of square footage to carve out exclusivity or even create the appearance of a store-within-a-store.In the News
Fashion Frugality Revamps Footwear Market
New York, August 7, 2009 — Footwear is a huge and increasingly diversified market driven by a host of demographic, lifestyle and fashion trends, according to The Global Footwear Market: Athletic and non-Athletic Shoes by leading market research publisher Packaged Facts. The market therefore is segmenting ever more finely, as evident in the diversity of mainstream footwear trends, from casual comfort to sexy stiletto.
Moreover, a far greater range of shoe styles has become acceptable in the workplace. The liberalization of footwear norms coincided with an era where $150 sneakers and $500 pumps were symptomatic of seemingly endless conspicuous consumption fueled by seemingly endless credit. But with the new economic reality came a paradigm shift. Charge now and pay later has been replaced with pay now or don’t buy at all. The fashion for frugality has even brought back a variety of money-saving behaviors from days of yore, including layaway plans and shoe repair cobblers.
The worldwide retail footwear market thus grew only two percent in 2008, according to The Global Footwear Market: Athletic and non-Athletic Shoes. The 2008 gain was the lowest during the five-year period spanning 2004 through 2008, and was due largely to increased sales in the emerging economies of Latin America and Asia.
The U.S. footwear market was essentially flat in 2008, though still accounting for 24% of global sales. “In a time of economic crisis, more consumers will conclude that conspicuous consumption is no longer acceptable,” says Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. “Instead of feeling good about buying expensive brands, consumers will feel good about getting the best value.”
As consumers have gotten more cautious about spending, they have also gotten more curious. Not only do they want to know about the fashion sensibility and functional benefits of footwear products, they also want to know about the core values of the footwear brand. During times of economic upheaval and distress, according to Packaged Facts, it is more important than ever to provide an emotional connection between the consumer and the consumer good.
About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of Market Research Group, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.
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