Research Proposal

Casual Shoe Brands - Post COVID-19


To gain an understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on shoe brands marketed to Gen X and older millennials, as well as the marketing strategies employed, and an industry outlook for casual shoe brands (not sneakers or dress shoes) post-COVID-19. The researched provided will be sourced from forecasts and case studies.

Early Findings

Footwear Industry

  • As consumers remained at home, despite overall industry declines sales of slippers, sport slides, and clogs or mules increased. Sales of slippers increased by 12%.
  • Overall dollar sales in the leisure and fashion categories declined by 50% and 66% respectively.
  • The FDRA reported that footwear sales in April amounted to $1.2 billion, declining by 56% over April 2019. In the previous 12 months there was a decline of 8% with sales totaling $31.5 billion.
  • Amperity's retail trackers reports that year-on-year sales for the footwear and accessories category is down by 40.9%, the total number of customer contracted by 26.1%, and orders declined by 27.4%.
  • The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) has asked the National Economic Council to freeze the duties placed on footwear. The duties are estimated to increase costs on shoes by $12 billion.
  • Overall retail revenue from spending by millennials aged between 30-39 had the highest decline year-on-year at 68.4%. The year-on-year revenue change from persons aged 40-59 was 63.5% and from persons aged 50-59 was 60.1%.

Marketing Strategies

  • New Balance's Instagram account asked followers to stay active, and it also posted a photo of a face mask with the message that the company made shoes yesterday and was now making masks today.
  • Red Wing Shoes focused its messaging on Instagram on letters to essential workers.

Industry Outlook

  • identified customer purchasing power, adverse currency rates, shutdowns of related industry events and brand campaigns, and increased multichannel activity as factors that would impact on the shoes and apparel industry in the short to medium term.
  • Footwear news reported that 70% of industry executives expect a 20-40% reduction in sales for 2020.


  • The initial hour of research focused on providing a brief overview of the impact of COVID-19 on the footwear industry, the changes in retail spending by Gen X and older millennials, the marketing strategies of two industry players, and the industry outlook.
  • The research was focused on the footwear industry generally, as no data was found specific to casual shoes, excluding sneakers and dress shoes. In the research options below, please advise whether research should continue for quantitative and qualitative data specific to casual shoes, or should the research continue to focus on the footwear industry in general.
  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that addressed your goals.
Prepared By
Nancy C.
271 assignments | 5.0