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Shaping/toning footwear category is booming
Feb '10
The NPD Group, Inc., a leading market research company, just released 2009 sales results for the rapidly emerging toning and shaping footwear market.

Toning and shaping footwear is a category marketed as a way to tone and shape muscles and/or burn calories while engaged in everyday activity. According to NPD's Retail Tracking Service, this segment generated $145 million dollars in sales in the Department Store, National Chain, Shoe Chain, and Athletic Specialty/Sporting Goods channels in 2009, up from $17 million in 2008. Sales increased dramatically during the fourth quarter of 2009, and while women's product comprises the large majority of these sales, the men's business began to pick up late in the year.

“Given the challenges we faced last year, these growth rates are especially significant. It is clear that the consumer is becoming engaged. The key for the industry will be to not only keep current buyers engaged but to look for opportunities to expand the market.” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.

Taking a look at NPD's athletic footwear store-level data, we see that the DMA's (Designated Market Area) that posted the highest sales volume for toning and shaping footwear closely align to the overall population ranking: New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, SanFrancisco-Oakland-San Jose, Dallas-Fort Worth. However, one standout is the Phoenix DMA. The store-level data shows that Phoenix is significantly more important to the toning/shaping market as it ranks 7th in sales of this kind of footwear versus its rank of 16th in sales of total women's athletic footwear and 11th in total population.

In addition to the Retail Tracking Service and Athletic footwear store-level data, NPD has just released the results of its first consumer study of this market called, Toning/Shaping Footwear – Benchmark Study. This study was designed specifically to examine the attitudes and behaviors of both owners and non-owners of toning and shaping footwear.

Not surprisingly, the Toning/Shaping Footwear – Benchmark Study, found that awareness of this type of footwear is higher among women (62 percent) than among men (37 percent). In addition, among all respondents, women (6 percent) were twice as likely to own a pair as men (3 percent).

“The men's market could spell an interesting opportunity for shaping and toning footwear. Men's, shows the least penetration overall, but a particularly interesting finding is that once men are aware of this type of footwear, they own them at almost the same rate as women.” said Cohen.

The study's results point to an additional marketing opportunity for manufacturers and retailers of toning and shaping footwear. Consumers that are already aware of these shoes were asked what would have the greatest impact on their decision to purchase a pair in the future. Sixty-five percent of those consumers told NPD that a “scientific substantiation of the fitness claims,” would have the greatest impact on their intention to buy in the future. This was followed closely by a “brand name I know and trust,” with 64 percent

“In 2010, shaping up will be a theme for consumers. Not only will they be looking to get their finances in shape they will be looking to get their bodies in shape as well.” said Cohen.

Methodology for Benchmark Study: This report is based on information collected from member of NPD's online consumer panel. It is based on a sample of 5000 adults aged 18+. It was administered from November 20th – December 4th, 2009.

NPD Group Inc

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