SOURCE: Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts

August 07, 2009 10:56 ET

Fashion Frugality Revamps Footwear Market

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - 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.

"The Global Footwear Market: Athletic and non-Athletic Shoes" analyzes the U.S. and global market for footwear sold at retail. The report covers dollar sales and unit volume consumption, and tabulates U.S. retail sales by major retail channel, major product type, and consumer segment. Along with analyzing the competitive landscape and international marketer strategies, the report discusses key trends affecting the market (including economic, design and marketing factors) and consumer preferences by major product category and retail channel. For further information, visit: http://www.packagedfacts.com/redirect.asp?progid=71101&productid=2091872

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. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Packagedfacts.

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