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More Shoppers Are Planning to Shop In-Store than Online This Holiday Season

The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) released its National Holiday Shoe Sales Survey on Thursday, a nationwide survey polling footwear consumers on their shopping habits leading up to the holiday season. The survey revealed that more people plan to shop in-store than online though only a few plan to increase their footwear expenditures during the period.

A solid 39 percent of those polled said they plan to spend less money this holiday season compared to last year while 32 percent plan to spend around the same amount. Only 29 percent plan to spend more.

A substantial number, 43.6%, of people polled said they plan to spend in the $100 to $250 range, while 39.1% plan to spend $100 or less.

As for when consumers plan to make these purchases, shoppers anticipate wrapping up their footwear purchases earlier than last year. A large number, 51 percent, said that they will make purchases between Thanksgiving and the end of the month, while 27 percent said they will buy during the first two weeks of December, leaving 7 percent who will wait until the final 10 days leading up to Christmas.

Brick-And-Mortar Minded

The survey found a correlation between online shopping and the age of the shopper, with younger shoppers heading online and older shoppers purchasing in-store. Of those polled, 45 percent of those shopping for shoes will be under the age of 40. The high percentage over 40 could explain why 61 percent of respondents plan to make purchases in-store.

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As far as where people intend to shop online, 48 percent said they’ll head to Amazon, up slightly from 44 percent last year. And, for in-store purchases, 49 percent prefer chain store purchases.

Men were slightly more likely to make online purchases, with 42 percent saying they would hit the Web, while only 37 percent of women plan to shop digitally. But, when those polled said they planned to shoe shop online, men and women overwhelmingly preferred the prices, choices and convenience of shopping digitally compared to shopping in-store.


Casual, comfort sneakers and leisure shoes are the most popular for a second year, with 34 percent of those polled likely to pick up items in those categories. Meanwhile, like last year, performance sneakers for the gym or sports came in second for 22 percent. Fashion or winter boots both came in at 19 percent and dress shoes, heels, flats or men’s oxfords at 18 percent.

Shoppers said that the most important factor when shoe shopping this season was split between cost, at 34 percent, and need, at 32 percent, which is drastically different than last year when cost came it at 41 percent and need was only 15 percent. “This suggests pocketbooks are tightening this season,” according to the report.


As far as demographics go, this year’s shoppers will be 62 percent female, making women more likely than men to shop for shoes for the season.

But 39 percent of male respondents intend to spend more money on shoes this holiday season, with only 33 percent looking to spend less. On the other hand, only 23 percent of women plan to spend more, while 43 percent said they will spend less.

The 18-29 year olds surveyed were the only age group to anticipate spending more money. Forty-five percent of in that group anticipate upping their spending this year, while all other age groups reported spending less.

Half of African-Americans polled said they plan to spend less this year for the holiday season, while 48 percent of Hispanics intend to do the same. Asians were the only ethnic group to report spending more this year than last.