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The U.S. Footwear Market


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Throughout the 1990s, the U.S. footwear market has not gained in bulk; though this mature market continues to grow at a moderate pace, much of the growth can be attributed to higher unit prices. Will younger consumers, particularly the Echo Boom generation, step up to the plate? This report analyzes the current status of the $38.8 billion footwear market and forecasts what the next five years will hold for those in the business of shoeing a nation. Dynamics at the retail level a major impetus to market growth are covered in full, as are consumer demographics by product type and brand.


Scope and Methodology

Market Parameters

This Packaged Facts study analyzes the retail footwear market in the United States. Packaged Facts primarily divides the market into four manufacturers' product categories (casual, athletic, dress, and rugged), and secondarily into three retailers' prod-uct segments (women's, men's, and children's). This study focuses on shoes sold to con-sumers through retail outlets such as shoe stores, athletic stores, mass discounters, discount shoe stores, department stores, national chains, off-pricers, and mail or-der/Internet.

Footwear not covered in this report includes textile baby booties, ski boots, roller-skating boots, in-line skates, thongs (such as those sold in the "seasonal" aisle of drug-stores), and rubber protective wear designed to shield shoes from the elements (galoshes, rubbers, storm shoes, etc.). In addition, the market does not include shoe care products (such as shoe polish), stand alone-shoe components (such as shoelaces), and orthotics (doctor-prescribed footwear).

Report Methodology

The information in this report is based on primary and secondary research. Primary research entailed on-site examination of the retail footwear environment, and consultations with marketer and trade representatives. Secondary research involved a re-view of data and other information appearing in financial, marketing, trade, and consumer publications, and in company literature. Statistics on market size and growth, marketer share, and share by retail sector are based on an evaluation of data and trend reports from trade sources. Consumer advertising expenditure data are drawn from Competitive Me-dia Reporting (CMR) tracking data. Consumer demographic data derive from the Sim-mons Market Research Bureau consumer survey for fall 1999.

Categories Covered:

  • Casual Shoes
  • Athletic Shoes
  • Dress Shoes
  • Rugged Shoes
  • Men’s Shoes
  • Women’s Shoes
  • Boys’ Shoes
  • Girl’s Shoes
  • Infants’ Shoes

Issues Addressed:

  • Current and Projected Market Growth
  • Factors Affecting Market Growth
  • Leading Marketers
  • Endorsements
  • Online Trends
  • Consumer Profiles
  • Consolidation and Close-outs
  • International Markets

Tables & Graphs:

  • Retail Sales, 1995 – 2004
  • Share of Market by Product Category
  • Top Marketers
  • Regionality of Footwear Purchasing

Competitive Profiles:

  • Nike
  • Nine West
  • Reebok International
  • Adidas-Salomon
  • Brown Shoe
  • Genesco
  • Timberland
  • Wolverine World Wide
  • Fila Holding
  • Converse
  • Skechers USA
  • Candie’s

Hours of Research: 600

I. Executive Summary

    Scope and Methodology
  • Market Parameters
  • Report Methodology
    The Market
  • Four Product Categories
    • Casual Shoes
    • Athletic Shoes
    • Dress Shoes
    • Rugged Shoes
  • Classification by Gender and Age
  • Retail Sales Exceed $39 Billion in 1999
  • Market Share by Product Category
  • Children's Shoes at 18% of Market
  • Factors to Market Growth
  • Sales to Reach $44.4 Billion by 2004
  • Table 1-1: The U.S. Market for Footwear: Retail Sales by Category, 1995-2004 (dollars): Casual, Athletic, Dress, Rugged, Total
    The Marketers
  • Market Is Brutally Competitive
  • Nike Leads with 12% Share
  • Nine West Comes in Second
  • Figure 1-1: Top Marketer Shares of U.S. Footwear Market, 1999 (percent): 7 Marketers, Other
  • Consolidation Trend Slows
  • Designer Names Up the Competition Ante
  • Footwear Marketers Transgress Apparel Territory
  • Strong Economy Leads to Luxury Brand Resurgence
  • Upscale Marketers Reach Out to the Young
  • Stoking the Endorsement Fires
  • Running as Fast as They Can
  • Luxurious Looks
  • Footwear National Consumer Advertising Exceeds $400 Million
  • Nike at 40% of Expenditures
  • $17 Million Campaign for Nordstromshoes.com
    Distribution and Retail
  • Wholesale or Direct
  • New Technology to Change Dynamic
  • Shoe/Athletic Shoe Stores at 30% of Sales
  • Low-End Retailers at 44% Share
  • Consolidation Changes Retail Market
  • The Branded Concept Store
  • Just For Feet Loses Its Footing
  • Online Trends
    The Consumer
  • Preference for Casual Leather
  • Almost Three-Fourths of Adults Purchase Athletic Footwear
  • Casual Sneakers Are Most Popular Type
  • Nike at 24% Consumer Draw
  • One-Third of Americans Regularly Purchase Dress Shoes
  • 4% of Men Purchase Hiking Shoes

II. The Market

    Introduction
  • Scope of Report
  • Seven Historical Shoe Styles
  • Shoe Manufacturing: A Primer
  • FTC Oversees Shoemakers
  • Footwear Packaging and Country of Origin
    Product Categories and Characteristics
  • Four Product Categories
    • Casual Shoes
    • Athletic Shoes
    • Dress Shoes
    • Rugged Shoes
  • Classification by Gender and Age
  • Classification by Price
  • Two Basic Shoe Parts
  • The Upper
    • Toecaps, Wingcaps, and Aprons
    • Tongues and Tabs
    • Facings and Foxings
    • Appliqués
    • Fastenings
    • Linings
    • Heel Counters and Box Toes
    • Ornamentation
  • The Bottoms
    • Sock Linings, Arch Supports, and Inserts
    • Insoles
    • Additional Insole Components
    • Outsoles and Heels
  • Performance Features
  • The Perfect Fit
  • Shoe Shapes and Sizes
  • Packaging
  • Figure 2-1: U.S. Retail Sales of Footwear, 1995-1999 (dollars)
    Market Size and Growth
  • Retail Sales Exceed $39 Billion in 1999
  • Table 2-1: U.S. Retail Sales of Footwear, 1995-1999 (dollars)
  • Casual Shoe Sales Continue to Outpace Athletic
  • Table 2-2: U.S. Retail Sales of Footwear by Product Category, 1995-1999 (dollars): Casual, Athletic, Dress, Rugged, Total
  • Sales of Athletic Footwear Drop
    • Evaporating Hoop Dreams
  • Dress Shoe Sales Continue to Decline
  • Rugged Footwear Sales Stay Strong
    Market Composition
  • Nine Out of Ten Shoes Are Imported
  • U.S. Exports Declining
  • Indonesian Exports Tumble
  • Market Share by Product Category
  • Figure 2-2: The U.S. Footwear Market: Share of Dollar Sales by Product Category, 1999 (percent): Casual, Athletic, Dress, Rugged
  • Children's Shoes at 18% of Market
  • Shoe Stores Capture Most Dollar Sales
  • Low-End Retailers Lead in Unit
  • Sales Sales by Season
  • Sales by Region
  • Table 2-3: Regionality of Footwear Purchasing by Product Category and Segment, 1999 (percent): Casual Footwear/Women's and Men's, Athletic, Dress, Rugged
    Factors to Market Growth
  • Incremental Growth Ahead
  • Where Have You Gone, Michael Jordan?
  • Blame The Gap
  • Running Shoes Sell More, But Cost Less
  • Unit Sales Less Important than Price
  • The Big Boom
  • Falling Through the Generation Gap
  • Reaching Out to Mature Consumers
  • From Pampers to Platforms
  • Title IX and Targeting Women
  • Upscale Retailers and Personal Shoppers
  • Going to Extremes
  • Loyal to the Brand
  • Figure 2-3: Projected Growth in U.S. Retail Sales of Footwear, 1999-2004 (dollars)
    Projected Market Growth
  • Sales to Reach $44.4 Billion by 2004
  • Table 2-4: Projected Growth in U.S. Retail Sales of Footwear, 1999-2004 (dollars)
  • Distribution of Market Growth
  • Table 2-5: Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Footwear by Product Category, 1999-2004 (dollars): Casual, Athletic, Dress, Rugged, Total

III. The Marketers

    Marketer Overview
  • Nearly 200 Marketers of Footwear
  • The Head of the Pack: Nike, Nine West, and Reebok
  • Other Major Marketers
  • Down the Line: Second-Tier and Specialty Marketers
  • Table 3-1: The U.S. Market for Footwear: Top Marketers by Brand Line (9 Marketers)
  • Table 3-2: The U.S. Market for Footwear: Selected Marketers by Brand Line (115 Marketers)
    Marketer Shares
  • Market Is Brutally Competitive
  • Nike Leads with 12% Share
  • Nine West Comes in Second
  • Reebok Slides to Third
  • Figure 3-1: Top Marketer Shares of U.S. Footwear Market, 1999 (percent): 7 Marketers, Other
  • Adidas, Brown, Genesco, and Timberland Follow
  • Top 10 Athletic Marketers
    The Competitive Situation
  • Consolidation Trend Slows
  • Prada Bulks Up
  • Designer Names Up the Competition Ante
  • Brand Signals
  • Footwear Marketers Transgress Apparel Territory
  • Strong Economy Leads to Luxury Brand Resurgence
  • Upscale Marketers Reach Out to the Young
  • Stoking the Endorsement Fires
  • Sales Tension Makes for a Litigious Industry
  • Close-Outs Affect Athletic Category
  • Looking Abroad for Continued Growth
  • Chasing the Soccer Crowd
    Competitive Profile: Nike, Inc
  • The Shoe Giant
  • Nike Goes Airborne
  • Footwear Slump
  • Nike Fumbles
  • Getting the Company Back on Track
  • Reeling from Sweatshop Label
  • Nike on the Runway
  • Nike Partners with Finish Line
  • Emphasis on Sub-Brands
    Competitive Profile: Nine West Group, Inc
  • Market Leader in Women's Shoes
  • Affordable Glamour from a Troubled Company
  • Restructuring Theme in the 1990s
  • New Deal Not All Sweetness and Light
  • Accessories Critical to Future Success
  • Under Government Microscope
    Competitive Profile: Reebok International Ltd.
  • Struggling with Sales Growth
  • Three Divisions
  • Started by a Runner
  • Not for Lack of Trying
  • Layoffs and Cutbacks
  • Rockport and Polo Sport
  • Struggles with Sweatshop Issues
  • Recovery from Styles Glut
    Competitive Profile: Adidas-Salomon
  • Adidas on the Comeback
    • Adidas Created at End of World War I
  • Reclaiming Territory in the United States
  • Team Sponsorship, WNBA Deal Raise Brand Awareness
    Competitive Profile: Brown Shoe Co.
  • New Name, New Leadership
  • Three Retail Chains
  • Marketing Through Brown and Pagoda
  • Change at the Top
  • New CEO Promises to Invigorate the Company
    Competitive Profile: Genesco, Inc.
  • Strong Stable of Brands
  • Restructuring Pays Off
  • Targeting the Youth Market
  • Johnston & Murphy Has New Image
  • New Store Launch Schedule Ramped Up
    Competitive Profile: Timberland Co
  • Hiking Shoes Expert Branching Out
  • From Single Boot to Lifestyle Brand
  • Building on a Great Boot
  • Keeping it in the Family
  • Going Athletic
    Competitive Profile: Wolverine World Wide, Inc
  • Casual and Rugged Brands
  • Losses at the Russia Front
  • On the Bright Side
  • Claiming Back Respect
  • Company Loves Its Hush Puppies
  • Brand Strategy Grows Wolverine Stable
    Competitive Profile: Fila Holding S.p.A.
  • Fila Slips
  • Fila USA
  • Reaching Out Electronically
  • Cutting Back
  • Future Strategies
    Competitive Profile: Converse, Inc
  • Converse Loses Traction
  • Taking Aim at Urban Teens
  • Selling to Skateboarders
    Competitive Profile: Skechers USA, Inc.
  • Skechers Takes Off
  • CEO Is Arbiter of Hip
  • Broadening Its Reach
    Competitive Profile: Candie's, Inc
  • Disco-Era Shoe Returns
  • Scandal Leaves Investors Stunned
  • A Wild Ride at Candie's
    Marketing Trends
  • Running as Fast as They Can
  • Brand Names Gain Cache
  • Brown Shoes Take Over
  • Crossing Over
  • Looking Downtown for Ideas
  • Team Spirit
  • Teen Athlete Spirit
  • Segmentation Trend Continues
    New Product Trends
  • From Luxury to Utility
  • New Technologies
  • Going for Flash
  • Junior Achievement
  • Reaching to the New Generation
  • Cashing In on Adventure Sports
  • Table 3-3: The U.S. Market for Footwear: Selected New Product Introductions, 1998 - Spring 2000
    Consumer Advertising and Promotion
  • Footwear National Consumer Advertising Exceeds $400 Million
  • Nike at 40% of Expenditures
  • Adidas-Salomon in Second Place
  • $17 Million Campaign for Nordstromshoes.com
  • Ad Voices
  • The Nike vs. Reebok Battle Wanes
  • From Celebrity Power to Chub Club
  • New Balance Embraces and Abandons TV
  • More Downs and Ups at Candie's
  • Skechers Goes for Urban Kids
  • Uptown Style
  • Kenneth Cole Brings Back Politics (Sort of)
  • Samples of Consumer Advertising
    Trade Advertising and Promotion
  • Trade Ads: Products on Parade
  • Trade Shows: A Cost-Effective Venue
  • Trade Promotions: Standard Approaches

IV. Distribution and Retail

    At the Distribution Level
  • Wholesale or Direct
  • Authorized or Mass
  • Two Distributor Classes
  • Going Gray
  • New Technology to Change Dynamic
    At the Retail Level
  • A Variety of Retail Channels
    • Shoe Stores
    • Athletic Stores
    • Discount Shoe Stores
    • Mass Discounters
    • Department Stores and National Chains
    • Off-Pricers
    • Mail Order
    • Apparel Specialty Stores
  • Shoe/Athletic Shoe Stores at 30% of Sales
  • Low-End Retailers at 44% Share
  • Consolidation Changes Retail Market
  • Consumers Demand Good Prices, Convenience
  • Retailers Use Price-Point Brands to Lure Consumers
  • Nine West Stores vs. Nine West Price Lists
  • Discount Pricing May Backfire
  • Seasonal Changes Require Inventory Caution
    Retail Focus: By Outlet Type
  • The Branded Concept Store
  • Over-Expansion Means Slow Times at Athletic Footwear Stores
  • Just For Feet Loses Its Footing
  • Market Reels from Just For Feet Failure
  • Other Athletic Retailers Also Struggle
  • New Retail Formats Emerging
  • Superstores Focus on Fun
  • Mass Discounters Offer Convenience of One-Stop Shopping
  • Mass Shoe Mix Attractive to Shoppers
  • Discounters Improve the Floor Show
  • The Direct-Sales Scene
  • Marketing Direct Sales
    Retail Focus: Online Trends
  • Most Top Marketers Have Websites
  • Big and Flashy Site by Nike
  • An Informational Assist from the Reebok Site
  • All About Sales at Nine West Site
  • Promotion and Sales at Adidas
  • Brown Shoe Links Up
  • Education Over E-Commerce
  • The Shoes Have It at Nordstrom
  • Sales and Free Shipping at Payless.com
  • Prospects for Internet Sales

V. The Consumer

    Introduction
  • Note on Simmons Consumer Survey
  • Simmons Data on Footwear
    Consumer Focus: Casual Shoes
  • Preference for Casual Leather
  • Upscale Women and Casual Leather
  • Canvas Shoes Attract Younger Women
  • Cozying Up to Slippers
  • Northeast or Midwest Base for Rain/Snow Boots
  • Western/Cowboy Boots Have Wide-Ranging Appeal
  • Going for Fashion: Other Leather Boots
  • Demographics for Men's Casual Leather Shoes
  • Younger, Upscale Demographic for Canvas Shoes
  • Warming Up to Slippers
  • Draw for Men's Rain/Snow Boots
  • Southern Skew for Western/Cowboy Boots
  • Fashion Over Function: Other Leather Boots
  • Table 5-1: Purchaser Overview by Casual Shoe Type: Women vs. Men, 1999 (percent and number): Casual Leather, Canvas, Slippers, Rain/Snow Boots (rubber), Western/Cowboy Boots, Other Boots (leather)
  • Table 5-2a: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Women's Casual Shoes by Product Type: Casual Leather, Canvas, and Slippers, 1999 (U.S. Adult Women)
  • Table 5-2b: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Women's Casual Shoes by Product Type: Rain/Snow Boots, Western/Cowboy Boots, and Other Boots, 1999 (U.S. Adult Women)
  • Table 5-3a: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Men's Casual Shoes by Product Type: Casual Leather, Canvas, and Slippers, 1999 (U.S. Adult Men)
  • Table 5-3b: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Men's Casual Shoes by Product Type: Rain/Snow Boots, Western/Cowboy Boots, and Other Boots, 1999 (U.S. Adult Men)
    Consumer Overview: Athletic Footwear
  • Almost Three-Fourths of Adults Purchase Athletic Footwear
  • Casual Sneakers Are Most Popular Type
  • Nike at 24% Consumer Draw
  • Overall Patterns
  • 23% Purchase Casual Sneakers
  • 17% Purchase Exercise/Walking Shoes
  • 11% Purchase Jogging/Running Shoes
  • 10% Purchase Cross-Training Shoes
  • 8% Purchase Basketball Shoes
  • 5% Purchase Tennis Shoes
  • 5% Purchase Aerobic Shoes
  • 2% Purchase Golf Shoes
  • Under 2% Purchase Soccer Shoes
  • 1% Purchase Bowling Shoes
  • Table 5-4: Purchaser Overview for Athletic Shoes by Product Type, 1999 (percent and number): Any, Casual Sneakers, Exercise/Walking, Jogging/Running, Cross-Training, Basketball, Tennis, Aerobic, Golf, Soccer, Bowling
  • Table 5-5: Consumer Purchasing of Athletic Footwear by Brand, 1999 (percent and number): 19 brands, Other
  • Table 5-6a: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Athletic Footwear by Product Type: Casual Sneakers, Exercise/Walking, and Jogging/Running, 1999 (U.S. Adults)
  • Table 5-6b: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Athletic Footwear by Product Type: Cross-Training, Basketball, and Tennis, 1999 (U.S. Adults)
  • Table 5-6c: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Athletic Footwear by Product Type: Aerobic vs. Golf, 1999 (U.S. Adults)
  • Table 5-6d: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Athletic Footwear by Product Type: Soccer vs. Bowling, 1999 (U.S. Adults)
    Consumer Focus: Dress Shoes
  • One-Third of Americans Regularly Purchase Dress Shoes
  • Women Most Likely to Have Fancy Shoes
  • Table 5-7: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Dress Shoes: Females vs. Males, 1999 (U.S. Adults)
    Consumer Focus: Rugged Shoes
  • 4% of Men Purchase Hiking Shoes
  • Few Resisters for Hiking Shoes
  • Table 5-8: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Rugged Footwear by Product Type: Hiking Shoes, 1999 (U.S. Adults)

Appendix I: Examples Of Consumer Advertising And Promotions

Appendix II: Addresses Of Selected Marketers

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