DSW is America’s Favorite Shoe Retailer, According to Market Force Study

DSW is America’s Favorite Shoe Retailer, According to Market Force Study

DSW tops the list of favorite shoe retailers, according to a national study from Market Force Information, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions. DSW was voted America’s No. 1 shoe retailer in a survey of more than 4,000 consumers. Nordstrom, NIKE, Shoe Carnival and Famous Footwear round out the top five.

The study, conducted in February, was designed to uncover which shoe retailers consumers like most and why they prefer one to another. Market Force first calculated the favorites based on the total number of votes, and then factored in the number of locations for each chain for a more level view of the results. Of all the retailers included in the study, DSW garnered the most total votes, and it remained the leader when the votes were indexed by the number of store locations. See Graph 1.

DSW, a national footwear retailer, has remained on a fast and profitable growth track, rapidly expanding its store base and increasing same-store sales. In the competitive footwear market, DSW is differentiating by implementing new technologies, growing its loyalty program and maintaining a fresh inventory.

Nordstrom and NIKE Have Strong Foothold in Key Attributes
Market Force also asked consumers to rank shoe retailers based on key attributes such as value, merchandise selection and loyalty programs. A strong loyalty program is appreciated by consumers, according to the study, and this was one area where DSW excelled, taking the top spot. DSW performed consistently well across most of the attributes while Nordstrom, a company that began as a shoe business more than 100 years ago, lived up to its heritage by ranking first in seven of the nine categories – from customer service to atmosphere to merchandise selection. It didn’t fare as well in value, a distinction that went to mega-chain Payless ShoeSource. NIKE and Shoe Carnival emerged in the top three rankings for nearly all of the attributes.

NIKE ranked number two in six of the nine categories including service, atmosphere, selection, designer lines, unique shoes and loyalty program. Payless Shoes topped the chart for value and Shoe Carnival also ranked high for several categories including value, service, atmosphere and designer lines. See Graph 2.

“Shoes have become a pre-eminent fashion statement for women and men alike, so it is no surprise that it’s a multi-billion dollar industry with retailers fiercely battling for market share,” said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force. “While offering a variety of merchandise is clearly a retail differentiator, our findings show that discerning consumers also strongly value great customer service, loyalty programs, a liberal return policy and unique footwear choices.”

Delighted Customers More Likely to Recommend
When survey respondents were asked to rate how satisfied they were by their experiences at the nine top-ranking shoe retailers, Nordstrom came out on top, followed by NIKE, Shoe Carnival, DSW and Target. To gauge if high satisfaction levels drive recommendations, Market Force asked respondents how likely they were to recommend these stores to others. Nordstrom was again a clear favorite, pointing to a correlation between customer satisfaction and willingness to recommend. Of the top retailers studied, Walmart ranked the lowest on the Customer Delight Index. See Graph 3.

Survey Demographics
The survey was conducted in February 2013 across the United States. The pool of 4,000 respondents reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with 60% reporting household incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to over 65. Approximately 40% were men and 60% were women and nearly two-thirds are married. For more information on Market Force’s customer intelligence solutions for the retail industry, visit http://www.marketforce.com/industries/retail

About Market Force Information
Market Force is the leading global customer intelligence solutions company for multi-location businesses, including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, financial institutions, entertainment studios and consumer packaged goods companies. With more than 125 years of combined industry experience, Market Force Information has pioneered the industry with a suite of customer intelligence solutions – from proprietary decision-support tools to 600,000 field associates across North America and Europe who conduct mystery shopping, to real customer surveys, contact center solutions and social media monitoring. Its solutions enable brands to identify the actions required at the store level to increase customer loyalty and improve financial performance. Market Force was named one of Forbes’ America’s Most Promising Companies in 2011. For more information, visit http://www.marketforce.com