Inflation keeps hitting! Demand for American footwear has plummeted

In 2021, footwear spending surged nearly 30 percent to an all-time high of $100.7 billion, according to the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of the United States. However, due to the impact of inflation and other economic issues in 2022, the frequency, brand and channel of American consumers to buy shoes have changed dramatically.

According to a report released by AlixPartners, a global consulting firm, in the survey of more than 1,000 American adults found that inflation caused 43% of women and 30% of men to delay buying new shoes, and only 15% of women and 25% of men said they were not affected by inflation.

In different age levels, the proportion of consumers who put off buying shoes due to inflation pressure is:

• 18 to 24 years old: 37%

· Age 25-34:32%

35-44 years old: 35%

45-54 years old: 41%

55-64 years: 48%

Age 65 and older: 54%

Most consumers consider cost more than brand loyalty when buying shoes. In order to save costs, 60% of consumers said they would look for new footwear brands and 80% said they would change retail channels.

In the sneaker segment, 52% of women and 43% of men said they would switch purchase channels to find better prices. For non-sports footwear, "online purchase + home delivery", "online purchase + curbside pickup" and "comfortable wearing" are the three main reasons why consumers choose to buy a new brand.

But 56 percent of respondents said they also buy shoes online, up 20 percent from last year. Among them, 66% of respondents' primary online shopping channel is Amazon, up 15% year-on-year, and Nike, Adidas, Walmart and DSW rank among the top five online shoe retail channels.

39% of respondents aged 55 to 64 and 43% aged 64 and older said convenience was the main reason they preferred to shop online, while for 35% of respondents aged 18 to 24 and 39% of respondents aged 45 to 54, the main reason for shopping online was greater product choice. In addition, 89% of online consumers expect free shipping and free returns.

Other recent consumer surveys have found similar trends. A survey by PowerReviews in the summer of 2022 found that 74% of footwear spending occurs online. According to Morning Consult, 85 per cent of US respondents said rising inflation had changed their shopping habits; Sixty-two percent of respondents are concerned that inflation will lead to higher prices for apparel, footwear and footwear.

Today, "digital first" has become the mainstream trend of retail development, which also means that in order to increase conversion, sellers must learn to think and act in a digital way, and focus on controlling production and transportation costs, improve the flexibility of supply chains and operations to attract a wider range of consumers.

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