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Report: U.S. Parents Spend More On Kids Footwear, Less On Themselves

Report: U.S. Parents Spend More On Kids Footwear, Less On Themselves

According to Circana (formerly IRI and The NPD Group), parents with kids living in the U.S. spend less on footwear for themselves and more on the category for their children.

Among households with kids under 18, overall footwear sales revenue declined by 1 percent, and unit sales fell 8 percent, year-over-year, in the 12 months ending February 2023. Among households without kids, sales revenue grew by 11 percent, and unit sales were flat. However, based on Circana’s consumer tracking service data, families have not pulled back on their kids’ footwear spend.

Shoes for kids were the fastest-growing segment of the footwear market. In addition, consumers spent more on kids’ footwear due to average price increases. Spending per buyer grew 9 percent yearly, according to Circana’s checkout data, which tracks product sales based on consumer sales receipts.

“Families are obviously feeling the pressure from inflation,” said Beth Goldstein, footwear and accessories analyst at Circana. “Without the government assistance that many households with children had previously received, they are now prioritizing their kids’ footwear replacement needs over their own.”

At a generational level, according to Circana, its apparent families are reallocating their footwear spending as Millennial households with kids represented about one-quarter of total footwear market declines, and Gen Z households with kids generated half of the slide in spending. Sales of adult footwear drove the declines among these segments while spending on their kids’ footwear grew. In contrast, Millennial households without kids accounted for almost 45 percent of the annual growth in the market.

“As footwear brands and retailers look for growth, messaging around value for the family will be important,” Goldstein continued. “These consumers feel the pinch due to increased prices on many of their household necessities.”