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Women are excited about buying shoes again - NPD

Jun '10
The NPD Group, Inc., a leading market research company, released its Consumer Tracking Service information for the U.S. fashion footwear market, and the women's market is stepping up with double digit sales increases.

For the three months ending in April 2010, the women's fashion footwear market is up almost 24 percent. Men's and children's fashion footwear markets are also posting positive results, 7.5 percent and 1.7 percent respectively.

''As go women, so goes the fashion market,'' stated Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc., “With women's fashion footwear currently making up just over 61 percent of sales and women buying 22 percent of men's and 79 percent of kids footwear, it has been interesting to follow this trend as a leading indicator for the return of the consumer to purchasing.”

The categories that are steps ahead in the fashion footwear market are casual shoes, up 25 percent and walking shoes (of which toning and shaping shoes are part), up over 100 percent. Boots, too, have proven to be real winners. Sales of boots are up 30 percent for the 3 months ending in April 2010.

"Consumers love to spend on new and innovative products. They seek dramatic change in products. Spring boots are new, different and easy to understand,” said Cohen. ''Shaping and toning is also about innovation, and consumers are responding to this perceived benefit.''

Signs of recovery can even be seen in a number of the U.S. retail channels among them is the department store channel. That was one of the channels that posted a double digit increase at 12.8 percent for the three months ending April 2010.

“Women are excited about buying shoes again,” noted Cohen, “The element of passion has been missing for consumers for sometime now. Other categories need to find ways to ignite consumers' passions; and if they do that, we just might see this recovery happen a whole lot faster.”

NPD Group Inc

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