First Insight and FDRA + FFANY Launch Back-to-School Footwear Report

Featured Image

Despite Recession Fears, 78% of Families Expect to Spend Same or More on Shoes for Back-to-School

National Consumer Survey Predicts Record-Breaking 21% Will Purchase Exclusively Online

Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh, PA – July 28, 2022 - The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), the footwear industry’s business and trade association, and First Insight, the world's leading technology company transforming how companies make product investment, pricing and marketing decisions, have completed a national back-to-school footwear consumer study. The results from a survey of 691 households with children ages elementary school to college will help companies understand what to expect this back-to-school shopping season.

This report was produced to uncover how soaring inflation and a potential recession on the horizon will impact this year’s back-to-school shopping season, as well as the economic health of the footwear industry overall. It also explores consumer behavior shifts such as the role of social media, as both parents and children use major platforms and influencers to inform their purchases.

This footwear survey looks at consumer perspectives on:

  • How inflation is impacting back-to-school consumer spending this year
  • What social media platforms are used to research and assist back-to-school shopping
  • Shipping time expectations and willingness to spend on shipping
  • The impact of rising gas prices on online shopping adoption
  • How consumers plan to purchase footwear (online, in-store, or both)

Key findings:

  • 78% of families plan to spend more or the same as last year on kids’ shoes
  • 63% of families plan to spend $75, or less, per pair of shoes, compared to 81% in last year’s survey
  • 36% expect to spend at least $200 total on back-to-school shoes this season, more than double last year’s rate (17%)
  • 67% of families are shopping online more due to higher gas prices
  • 61% plan on using social media for shopping, with Facebook leading the way
  • 21% of all families will purchase shoes exclusively online for back-to-school
  • 29% are spending at least $300 more per month on their total purchases compared to last year

Click here to download the full report.

“FDRA’s recent survey of 100 of the top Shoe CEOs revealed their biggest concern as we start the Back-To-School season is no longer supply chain issues but consumer behavior shifts as the economy slows and inflation continues to eat into pocketbooks. That is why this report is so important because it gets us closer to understanding where families plan to shop, how much they are expecting to spend, and what is influencing their choices,” said FDRA Senior Vice President Andy Polk. “This survey is also extremely important to understanding the health of the U.S. economy as footwear is a vital barometer as a product families must purchase. It shows several interesting shifts occurring in family spending and channels.”

“With inflation rates at 40-year highs clearly taking a toll on consumer confidence, it’s more important than ever for brands and retailers to gain and use granular, real-time insight into their customers’ changing needs and willingness to spend,” said Greg Petro, CEO, First Insight. “Implementing Voice of the Customer predictive analytics and digital product testing enables retailers and brands to get the right products to market faster by refining buys and eliminating poor performers before they are even produced. With First Insight, brands get actionable feedback from their constantly-changing customers to ensure that consumers are getting the products they want at the right price.”

About FDRA
FDRA supports nearly 500 shoe companies and brands worldwide, representing 95% of total U.S. footwear sales, making it by far the largest and most respected American footwear trade and business association. It serves the full footwear supply chain and boosts the bottom lines of its members through innovative products, training and consulting on footwear design and development, sourcing and compliance, trade and customs, advocacy, and consumer and sales trend analysis for retailers selling shoes around the world.

About First Insight, Inc.
First Insight, the world leader in Next-Gen Experience Management, is transforming how companies make better decisions leading to a sustainable future. Customers include some of the world’s leading vertically integrated brands, sporting goods companies, department stores, consumer products companies, mass merchant retailers and wholesalers.

# # #

FDRA Contact:
Andy Polk
Senior Vice President

First Insight Contact:
Gretchen Jezerc
SVP of Marketing

FDRA and First Insight’s findings are based upon a survey conducted through its proprietary platform. The report is based upon a sample of 691 U.S. households fielded in July 2022. The sample was proportionately balanced by region, gender, and income. Further details on the findings are available upon request.