Back-to-School Shoe Shoppers Prioritizing Deals

The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) released its 2023 Back-to-School Shoe Sales Forecast, outlining that parents seek in-store deals and prioritize price. The FDRA surveyed 1,000 families with school-aged children from July 21-23 to gather insights to recreate the forecast.

Comparing this survey to past editions, it is evident that families are demonstrating an unprecedented focus on price and their budget for back-to-school shoe shopping. The survey shows families more than ever looking to spend less for shoes as well as reduce the number of pairs purchased per child this season. This portends a continued challenging environment for retailers as our exclusive shoe retail data shows shoe spending growth decelerating the last few months,” said Andy Polk, SVP at the FDRA.

Polk added: “The changing economic conditions and spending power have spurred a shift in shopping behavior, with a substantial percentage of families prioritizing price well over other factors compared to more balanced priorities in years past. Shoe companies need to be aware of this shift to ensure marketing and merchandizing strategies successfully connect with these budget-conscious parents. We also note that even as they grip their pocketbooks more tightly and plan to reduce quantities purchased, families do expect to spend more on shoes than last year, perhaps due to continued inflation expectations. This may mean total back-to-school sales will increase, but with discounting returning, it may mean less profits for shoe companies than in 2022.”

Survey Highlights: Changing Economic Landscape Sparks Shopping Shift

Families are researching for shoes less on social media in 2023 compared to last year. The shift could be due to the changing economics and spending power, leading families to prioritize price and overall spending over aesthetics.

Approximately 80 percent of low to middle-income families plan to shop in-store for back-to-school compared to online shopping. Thirty-five percent of families with incomes over $150,000 plan to buy for the season online.

60 percent of families surveyed plan to shop in-store to find the best deals, signaling a demand for discounts and cost savings.

69 percent of families are buying shoes for their kids through mid-August at a 20 percent higher rate than for the same period in 2022.

52 percent of families plan to buy two pairs of shoes per child compared to 2022, where they purchase three or more pairs.

53 percent of families plan to spend under $60 per pair on shoes, compared to 41 percent last year. Data shows only seven percent of parents are willing to pay over $100 for a pair of kid’s shoes versus 18 percent last year.

To read FDRA’s 2023 Back-to-School Shoe Sales Forecast, go here.

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