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Understanding Young Adult Footwear Shoppers in India

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Executive Summary

‘A man can be judged by the shoes he wears.' Footwear today is much more than just an integral part of one's attire; it helps the modern day consumer make his or her unique lifestyle statement. This study was done to understand the footwear preferences was various categories of footwear and to understand the footwear shopping behaviour. The objective of the study was to segment young adult footwear shoppers into unique footwear shopping orientation groups and to develop a profile for each segment with respect to footwear benefits sought, importance of store attributes, patronage behavior and demographics. To start with, a secondary research was done to gain a broad understanding of the footwear industry in India, in particular footwear retail, and the modern Indian consumer. In-depth interviews of 10 young adults from metros, both males and females, were conducted to arrive at the parameters used in the evaluation of footwear, footwear retail stores and also to understand general footwear usage and buying behavior. This understanding and the parameters arrived at were then used in formulating a questionnaire consisting of 60 line items which was administered through online surveys. A total of 100 responses were achieved of which 85 were complete responses. The data of the complete responses was then analyzed through frequency distributions, factor analysis and cluster analysis. Factor analysis helped to reduce the number of variables to 8 factors. On the basis of these 8 factors, the 85 respondents were classified into 3 clusters with unique shopping orientations. The result of this study can be helpful to footwear retailers in customizing their merchandising, display, and other store attributes like space and availability of mirrors to gain maximum store loyalty and patronage.


Footwear is much more than just an integral part of one's attire: while on the one extreme, it helps the modern day consumer make his or her unique lifestyle statement, it also helps enhances the performance of athletes and sportsmen at the other extreme.

A brief history of footwear

One of the first things made by our primitive ancestors was foot covering. It was primarily used to protect themselves from burning sand, rocks and rugged terrain. Records show that different civilizations like Egyptian, Chinese and other early civilizations, all contained reference to shoes. It is also mentioned in the Bible. The Hebrews also used it in binding a bargain (Shoe History, 2009).

The first form of shoe consisted of a simple piece of plaited grass or rawhide which was strapped to the feet. During early times, sandals were the most common type of footwear. In Mesopotamia, during 1600 - 1200 BC, a particular type of shoes were used. They were soft and made of wraparound leather.

Up to almost 1850, the method of making shoes was the same as that in 14th century B.C. in Egypt. Hand tools were used. Shoes were absolutely straight. There was no difference between the right and left shoe (Shoe History, 2009).

In 1845, the first machine that found a permanent place in the shoe manufacturing industry was invented- the Rolling machine. In 1846, a sewing machine was invented. In 1875, a machine was developed which later came to be known the Goodyear Welt Sewing Machine (Shoe History, 2009).

Rubber heels for shoes were patented in on January 24, 1895 by Humphrey O'Sullivan. These rubber heels on shoes outlasted the leather heels then in use (The History of Shoes, 2009).

Keds were first mass-marketed in 1917 (The History of Shoes, 2009). They were positioned as canvas-top "sneakers." These were officially the first sneakers. The word "sneaker" was coined by Henry Nelson McKinney, an advertising agent. This was because the rubber sole made the shoe stealthy. All other shoes, barring a few exceptions like moccasins, made noise when a person walked. Hence you could ‘sneak' on anyone wearing Keds.

Since the mid-20th century, the type of shoes being created has changed considerably compared to the traditional crafting techniques. This is due to advances in plastics, rubber, synthetic cloth, plastics and industrial adhesives. Leather, even though is still used in expensive dress shoes is no longer really used in athletic shoes. Soles, which were once hand stitched, are now machine stitched or simply glued on.

A century ago, if a lot of effort was put in, a person might have been able to produce a few pairs of shoes. Today, automatic Toe Laster for Goodyear Welt shoes can produce 1200 pairs in an 8-hour day (Shoe History, 2009).

Footwear industry in India

Industry overview

The Indian footwear and leather industry is amongst the top-10 foreign exchange earners. It is also amongst the top-12 focus manufacturing sectors in the country if we consider it in terms of competitiveness and untapped potential.

The world's largest footwear manufacturer is China. Next is India. India producs 16 billion pairs accounting for 13% of global footwear production. India produces 2065 million pairs of different categories of footwear (leather shoe uppers - 100 million pairs, non-leather footwear - 1056 million pairs and leather footwear - 909 million pairs). India exports just 115 million pairs of footwear. Almost 95% of the production goes into meeting the domestic demand.

Nearly 15 percent of Europe's leading brands outsource their footwear, apparel and fashion accessories purchases from India. India's domestic footwear market is better than others around the world primarily because of abundant raw materials, low cost of production and a huge consumption market.

India's major importers for Indian leather products:


Share (%)









Hong Kong














The 10 countries mentioned above account for nearly 75.30% of India's total leather products export.

More than half of the Indian footwear market comprises of gents' footwear. This is contrary to the world wide trend. The world's major production is in ladies footwear. Hence, in India there is immense scope in the women's segment. In the unorganized sector, more than 80 percent of the sales happen in the men's segment. However this is might change soon.

The footwear industry is extremely labor intensive- 90% of its production comes from SMEs (small and medium enterprises). There are in excess of 42,000 such SME units, there are primarily concentrated in two provinces - in Uttar Pradesh up north and in Tamil Nadu down south. They are also present in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Punjab. Agra, Ranipet, Kanpur, Ambur, Jodhpur and Kolhapur are also traditionally renowned centers of excellence in the production of leather and footwear.

In the last five years, footwear production in the country has increased by nearly 60%. Out of this, the rural areas consume 75% of the footwear production. It has become a necessity product there since till now, they have been majorly deprived of its usage.

The Footwear sector has now been de-licensed and de-reserved. This has paved the way for expansion of capacities on modern lines using state-of-the-art machinery. In order to assist this process further, the Government has permitted 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through automatic route for footwear sector.
Categorization or classification of footwear

The Indian footwear market, in terms of quality offerings, has four main segments:

1. The super premium end- comprises the best of global luxury brands

2. The high-end or premium

3. The mid/economy ranges- comprises of formals, functional, casuals and party wear

4. The low-priced mass range- includes leather and plastic strapped slippers, as utility wear

Apart from this, the genuine active sportswear segment with different price ranges also exists.

The volume share of the economy/mid range has reduced. It was 61% in 2006-07. It has come down to 53%. The active sports-wear segment has increased its share from 7% to 9.6%. Premium leather and premium non-leather segments have both seen a rise from 7% and 3% in 2006-07 to 7.3% and 3.5% respectively in 2007-08. The super premium luxury segment has a 0.08% market share. In terms of sales value, this is a very significant number.

Also there are four major categories of footwear:

1. Sports footwear

2. Semi-formal or casual footwear

3. Formalwear

4. Utility footwear

The Indian footwear market mainly consists of casual wear. It occupies nearly two-thirds of the total footwear retail market. The other sub-segment that is doing well is the branded sportswear segment. It is estimated to be about Rs. 1,000 crore. The main players in this space consist of reebok, Adidas and Lotto. Compared to other segments, this segment is growing fast in terms of the number of outlets. Apart from footwear, these outlets also sell apparel.

Major players in Indian footwear industry

The top domestic and premium brands in India consist of:

1. Action - It has a pan Indian presence. It consists of multiple branded outlets (MBOs), 135 exclusive branded outlets (EBOs). It commands a total of 175,000 square feet retail space.

2. Bata - It is a household name in India. It was the brand that made branded footwear popular. Bata India Limited manufactures and markets various types of footwear, leather and footwear components. Apart from these, the company markets products related to footwear, garments, accessories, sports goods and other merchandise. Bata's sub-brands consist of Dr Scholl's, Hush puppies, Bubblegummer and Power. Till the first quarter of 2009, Bata India had 1,293 outlets. Bata India is currently looking to expand towards Tier I & Tier II cities.

3. Khadim's - Currently, it has over 329 outlets. The area under it is approximately 148,000 square feet retail space. It is present in 22 cities across India.

4. Liberty - After Bata, it is arguably the most popular domestic brand. It is the only Indian company among the world's top 5 leather footwear manufacturers. It has EBOs as Revolutions and Liberty. Revolutions provides footwear, travel accessories, watches, leather accessories, sun-glasses and jewellery Its sub-brands consist of Footfun, Force 10, Senorita, Gliders, Tiptopp, Windsor, Coolers, June, Warrior and Perfect. Liberty has 360 EBOs, 40 Shop-in-shops and 150 distributors. It services 6000 MBOs. The total retail space under it is 1.26 million square feet.

5. Metro, Mochi - These are two brands from Metro Shoes Ltd. They were launched in 1977 and 2000 respectively. It consists of over 85 EBOs and 76 MBOs. The retail space under it is 131,000 square feet. It is present in 32 cities.

6. Pavers England - It stated in India in early 2008. It was launched in Reliance stores. It is a Chennai based brand. It operates 40 MBOs.

7. Red Tape - This brand belongs to Mirza International. It was launched in 1996 in the domestic market. It started its exclusive retail operations in 2006. By end-2008 it had 10 company-owned EBOs, 50 franchise-owned EBOs and also 135 Shops-in-shops.

8. Sreeleathers - It was established in 1950. It is a very strong brand in Easten India. It has 5 company-owned EBOs and 28 franchise-owned EBOs.

9. Woodland - It is looking to enter the junior and kidswear segment. It is also looking at apparels business very optimistically. It hopes that this business will contribute to half of its total sales in India. It operates 250 EBOs in India.

10. Lilliput - It is a leading brand in kid's footwear. By the end of 2008, it had 250 EBOs and also 100 shop-in shops.

11. M&B Footwear - It has 2 in-house brands, viz ID and Mercell. It has been operating for more than 21 years. It has tie-ups with brands like Lee Cooper. By the end of 2008, it had 32 EBOs and also 11 shop-in-shops.

International brands in India

1. Adidas - It is one of the biggest companies in the sports goods category. This nramd has acquired Reebok. It now consists of 3 brand divisions: Adidas, Taylormade-Adidas golf and Reebok. Adidas brand focuses on sports. It offers footwear, apparel and hardware in three divisions which include sport heritage, sport performance, and sport style.

The sport performance division focuses on the hardcore sports player.

The sport heritage division focuses on the casual sports man.

The sport style division focuses the fashion-conscious consumers.

The Reebok brand focuses more on style.

Adidas entered India in 1977. It operates more than 450 EBOs. It has 340,000 square feet retail space. It claims a 20% market share in the active sports segment.

2. Lotto - It currently has 10 flagship EBOs in India. It has plans to increase it to 100 by the end of 2010. It is present in 30 Indian cities.

3. Nike - It has 107 EBOs in India

4. Guess (Premium) - It was launched in 2005 by Planet Retail in India. It operates 19 EBOs and one shop-in-shop.

5. Carlton London (Premium) - It currently operates 10 EBOs. It has 50,000 square feet retail space in India. It is concentrated in North India. It has plans to open up new stores in metros and in Tier I cities.

MBO Retailers

1. Planet Sports - It has 39 outlets and a retail space of 73,000 square feet. It is present in 21 cities across India.

2. Provogue - It was launched in 2005. It consists of 55 EBOs and also 15 shop-in-shops.

3. Reliance Footprints - It is a division of Reliance Retail Ltd. It started its operations in 2007. It currently operates 14 MBOs. It offers global brands like Ecco, Geox, Josef Siebel, Rockport, Florsheim, Hush Puppies, Lee Cooper and Clarks, Piccadilly, Dr. Scholl's, Levis, Crocs, Disney among others. Apart from these, it sells handbags as well as accessories.

4. Shoe Factory - It is a value format. It offers huge variety of footwear for a wide age groups. It started its operations in Ahmedabad in 2006. It is present in 16 locations and has a retails space of 48,000 square feet across 8 cities.

5. The Blues - It is an exclusive licensee of major global brands like Corneliani (2006), Versace Collection (2005), VJC Versace Jeans Couture (2008), Cadini (2005), Versace (2008). By the end of 2008, it had 6 franchised EBOs, 3 shop-in-shops and also one MBO.

Emergence of modern Indian retail


In 2007, the Indian retail sector stood at $350 billion. It was predicted to increase to $427 billion by 2010 and $635 billion by 2015 (Morierty, 2007).

Many Indian business houses are entering or have already entered this sector. The food and grocery sector is turning out to be a major contributer to this field. Even though it started slowly, it is now growing at a feverish pace.

The other forms of retail have also evolved consistently. With the huge business houses entering into this business, the field has become extremely competitive between them. This is one sector that is looking to explode in the near future.

Today, mega Indian business houses and corporate like the Future Group of Kishore Biyani (Food Bazaar), Reliance Group of Mukesh Ambani (Reliance Fresh & Reliance Hyper), ITC Ltd (Choupal Fresh & Choupal Saagar), Wadhawan Holdings (Spinach), RPG Group (Spencer's Retail), the Aditya Birla Group (More), Subhiksha, the Godrej group (Nature's Basket & Godrej Aadhar), J Raheja group (Hypercity), etc. are driving the forays into retail through different models like single-format, multi-format or integrated urban-rural model. (Sengupta, 2007)

However, the growth of the Indian retail space has been a long and ardous journey. Let us have a brief look at how the sector as a whole has evolved over the years.


It is popularly assumed that with the opening of the Indian economy in the early 1990s, the retail sector started opening up. This is when all the supermarkets and hypermarkets came into existence. However, the types of retail formats have existed in India since 1970s.

In 1971, Nilgiris was set up in Bangalore. It was what one could popularly refer to as the ‘face of modern Indian retail.' It was a supermarket. Since then, a lot of other business houses/ entrepreneurs have entered this sector. A few went national while a majority of them were restricted to a local scale. Popular among them were Trinetra from Hyderabad (now part of the Aditya Birla Group), Foodworld from Chennai, Margin Free from Kerala among others. A few others like Stop & Shop from the TVS group in South India and Nanz in North India have shut down.

In 1947, when India got independence, the per capita income was very low. People could not really afford any type of luxuries. Majority of them managed to live by getting their basic necessities. The main type of retail format prominent during those days was the mom-and-pop (kirana stores). They were run by individuals. The other format was the Bazaar. This trend continued up to the 1960s. Even post that, when supermarkets like Nilgiris opened up, the trend continued (Sengupta, 2007).

It was during the 1990s and 2000s that this trend gradually changed. The growth story of the modern retail format in India is the early part of this millennium can be divided into 4 phases.

Phase 1:

This phase is characterised between 2002 and 2004. Lots of new entrants into the market were driving the top line growth.

Phase 2:

This phase is characterised between 2004 and 2006. The consumers were getting more and more aware of the possibilities that this retail growth could mean for them. They started demanding more and more variety in the organized retail formats.

Phase 3:

Post 2006, the retailers realized that in order to distinguish themselves, they would have to strengthen their back-end activities. The front end of almost all retail outlets were more or less the same. The thing that distinguished them from the rest were activities like inventory control, turnover time etc.

Phase 4:

This phase has been in progress since 2007. The retail players are in the process of consolidating their operations.

(Srivastava, 2009)

Organized retail is moving from being a ‘novel' experiment to an expected back-end innovation and scale build up (Srivastava, 2009).
Indian retail story

First some facts (Srivastava, 2009):

* The retail industry employs almost 21 million people

* The Kearney study undertaken in 2006, ranked India 5th among 30 developing countries in the Global Retail Development Index

* The study projects that India will overtake Russia and China to become the number one destination for foreign direct investment in retail

India has over 12 million retail outlets. Out of this, about 95% of the outlets are less than 500 square feet (Srivastava, 2009).

If we compare Indian retail with other countries, we see that the number of traditional retail outlets is still very huge.

In 2005, US had about 15% traditional retail outlets and 85% organized retail outlets. India had 97% traditional outlets and only 3% organized retail outlets (Srivastava, 2009).

(Srivastava, 2009)

The organized retail in India is still at a very nascent stage. The opportunity for growth is enormous.

Even though speciality stores in India are gaining prominence, almost 90% of all future retail development is predicted to be malls. The Indian consumer wants everything in the same place.

One more trend that is being seeing is the marriage of retail and entertainment. Lots of multiplexes are opening up at malls. In fact, this seems to be the future trend. Sand alone places might not attract the crowd that such mergers could. Also, facilities like book stores, coffee shops, food courts etc. are being developed at these places.

The major distinguishing factor of malls in India is that they have a mix of high-value items as well as mass branded items at the same place. In comparison, other countries have speciality malls. They either are of the high-value kind boutiques or the mass category.

India has the highest shop density in the world. It has about 11 shops per 1000 people. This adds to one shop per 20-25 families (Srivastava, 2009). However in cities, this density is much higher.

If we look at the money spent on various facilities, the urban-rural difference becomes very evident. About 33% of entertainment spends come from rural areas as opposed to 67% from urban areas. As opposed to this, when we talk about more basic necessities like food, clothing and footwear, over 60% comes from rural areas.

(Srivastava, 2009)

If we look at the share of the various things that are sold in the organized retail, we find that apparels and accessories is the maximum at 38%, footwear is at 9%, while others like mobile phones, books etc. are at 3% each (Srivastava, 2009).

(Srivastava, 2009)

Retail formats

Both traditional as well regional retails constitute footwear retail market space. Along with these, new players like The Loft and factory outlets also constitute this space. These are category killers. The Loft offers over 130 brands, all under the same roof. It has completely revolutionarized the industry. In Mumbai, The Loft store has an area of 18,000 sq feet and also offers other services to the customers enhancing their experience. Factory outlets have also changed the industry. Pantaloon Retail's Brand Factory, Reliance Footprints, Max Retail of the Landmark Group, and The Loot, are all offering a multiple footwear brands.

1) Hypermarket

This format of stores has seen a huge growth in India. Most of the stores in this format are making money. The costumers find it very comfortable as they can get almost all their daily necessities like food, clothing, shoes, utensils, home appliances, durables etc. under one roof. It is like a one stop shop for all necessities.

2) Departmental Store

Similar to hypermarkets, these shops also offer all the requirements under one roof. The difference is that these outlets have a more luxurious setting. The Indian consumer likes the idea of shopping in a better way with entertainment, novelty, variety and an international setting, all under one roof.

3) Single brand/ Stand Alone Outlet

As the name suggests, these outlets consist of only one brand. They are generally run by the brand itself or are run as franchisee. The consumers do not have much choice here in terms of the number of brands but, generally, most of the variety of items, even the rare ones, of the brand are present here.

4) Multi-Branded Outlet

A huge variety of brands are present here. The consumer has a wide array of brands to choose from. The only drawback of such outlets is that only the popular items of a brand are present here. So if a consumer has a very specific requirement, he/ she might not be able to find the item here.

5) Factory Outlet

A factory outlet is a retail store where the manufacturer sells his brand directly to the customer. The store might have a warehouse attached to it. The biggest advantage of such stores is that there are no middle men. Hence the end customers get the brands at a very low cost. They are also called ‘Best Saving Outlets.'

Footwear retail

AT Kearney's eigth annual GRDI (Global Retail Development Index) in 2009 ranked the Indian retail sector as the ‘most attractive emerging market for investment.' Indian retail market is the fifth largest retail destination globally.

In the footwear retail market, only 5.9 percent of India's total retail market is organized. This comes to Rs. 13,300 billion. The total footwear retail market stands at Rs. 160 billion. Out of this, 48.4% of the footwear retail market is organized and is dominated by brands. The Indian Retail report of the year 2009 maps the growth of the organized retail since 2004. The findings indicate that compared to the other retail categories, footwear category has grown at a much faster pace. In 2004-05, only 25% of the footwear retail sector was organized. In 2009, it grew to 48.4%. The overall retail market share in the organized sector has only increased from 3% to 5.9% in the corresponding time frame.

Emerging trends

The performance of the footwear market is forecasted to accelerate with an anticipated CAGR of 10.2% for the five-year period 2008-2013. This is expected to drive the market to a value of $5,791.4 million by the end of 2013. Comparatively, the Chinese market will increase with a CAGR of 8.3%. (Singh, 2009)

The organized retail sector is also seeing many changes. This sector occupies about 5% of Indian retail market. Large format stores and branded retail stores are coming up. This trend was first seen in South India and now in North India, West India and East India in the next couple of years. The retail sector is also opening its operations in Tier II cities like Gurgaon, Noida, Kochi etc. A market research report ‘Booming Retail Sector in India' predicts that Indian organoized retail sector will reach US$ 50 billion by 2011. This study was carried out by RNCOS. The number of shopping malls is also set to increase between 2007 and 2015 by a CAGR of 18.9%.

The Indian consumer

On the World Map, India is placed 5th in the list of consumer markets of the world. Improved communication systems and the exposure to popular international brands has brought about a huge difference in the cities. People have become more indulgent. They want to acquire more and have also become very ambitious.

According to a McKinsey report, the size of the Indian consumer market is expected to grow 4 times by 2025. This report is aptly titled ‘The rise of Indian Consumer Market.' The youth population in India is huge. 33% are below 15 years of age. The consumer spending has increased as the disposable income among the youth has increased. The consumer spending in India has increased by 75% in the last 4 years. The share of wallet for products like footwear, clothes, transport, entertainment, education, medical services, housing and renting etc. has increased significantly.

In fact, the Indian middle class has also started consuming luxury goods like air-conditioners and cars. The Indian demographic profile is changing rapidly. The upper class is growing much quicker than the lower class. The ‘deprived' class is shrinking. The middle class is expected to touch 28 million by 2010. One third of the total middle class population will be from the rural areas.

Lifestyle category goods are expected to be the future. With the increasing number of working women and fashion conscious males, they will look for a better quality of life. The Nielsen Retail Index 2007 reveled that consumers are switching to branded products. Also due to impulse buying by young consumers with disposable income, brands like Reebok and Adidas saw their semi-urban and rural sales increase by more than 70%.

According to Kishore Biyani (Biyani, 2007), the typical Indian consumer can be classified as follows:

The serving class consists of 55% of the population. This indicates that the retail outlets should target this group as well instead of mainly targeting the consumer class, which consists of only 14% of the population, as it currently does (Tripathi).

Literature Review
Indian footwear consumer

The basic understanding of fashion and change in consumer perceptions has given a huge boost to the footwear industry. There is more exposure for Indians due to global travel and media penetration. The new retailing formats and distribution systems have capitalized on this. Branded footwear from overseas has become popular. Of course, the cost for the consumer is still a concern, due to which even the international brands have had to bring down their prices drastically in order to achieve break-even sales.

Comfort is very essential for the Indian footwear consumer. The branded and organized sector has taken advantage of this. However, the awareness about more specialized products like performance enhancing and fitness assisting is still very low in India compared to other South East Asian countries. This could increase with time. Also, the young working population is seeing a shift in preference to international trends and lifestyles.

One more fact is that women buyers buy more frequently compared to their male counterparts. About 29% women go shopping at least once every quarter. Men account for about 19% of the total purchases of that segment (Indian Retail Report, 2009).

As per a study on how consumers divide their wallet spends, about 44% of the urban Nupscale (short for Nielsen Upscale, based on the usage of 12 consumer durable products by the consumers' households) buy men's footwear. 41% buy women's footwear. The average annual spend on the products is Rs. 2318 and Rs. 1336 respectively. This study was conducted by Images- AC Neilsen.

Women had a role to play in the purchase of men's footwear (26% women to 56% men). Men had a bigger role to play in purchase of women's footwear (34% males to 51% females). Men spent more lavishly on footwear irrespective of whether they were buying for themselves or others or gifting. Males spend on an average Rs 2,459 in a typical year on purchase of men's footwear and Rs 1,428 on purchase of women's footwear. Comparatively, women spend on an average Rs 1,875 on men's footwear and Rs 1,265 on women's footwear in a typical year (Indian Retail Report, 2009).

Research articles

‘Shopping Orientation in the Evolving Indian Market', a research article by Piyush Kumar Sinha, attempted to understand shoppers from their disposition towards shopping. This was very useful because it has been noted that the differences between retailers are not really significant in terms of the value they deliver. The study managed to bring out the shopping orientation of the Indian shoppers. It said that emotional value matters more than the functional value while shopping. They are also more oriented towards the entertainment value. Based on this orientation, 300 shoppers were divided into 2 segments: Fun shoppers and Work shoppers. These two segments had different demographic and behavioral profile. This orientation was primarily affected by the frequency of buying, type of store, and to some extent by the SEC (socio-economic classification). These findings were finally used in order to draw implications for store format, merchandising and pricing (Sinha, 2003).

‘A Typology of Apparel Shopping Orientation Segments among Female Consumers', segmented female apparel shoppers into unique apparel shopping orientation groups. It then developed a profile for each segment by taking into consideration the information sources, lifestyle activities, importance of store attributes, demographics and patronage behavior. Then by using cluster analysis of apparel shopping orientation factors, three groups were identified:

1) Highly Involved Apparel Shopper

2) Apathetic Apparel Shopper

3) Convenience-Oriented Catalog Shopper

They were further compared through MANOVA (multivariate analysis of variance) and chi-square statistics. The results indicated that shopping orientations are a base for segmenting female apparel shoppers. These groups are unique in consumer buying characteristics.

They include:

* 3 factors of information sources (Fashion Publications, Store Fashion Service/Promotion and Mass Media)

* 5 factors of importance of store attributes (Visual Image of Store, Store Personnel, Customer Service, Brand/Fashion and Easy Access)

* 2 factors of lifestyle activities (Grooming and culture)

* Other variables (annual wardrobe expenditure, patronage behavior, housing area, occupation and income) (Shim, A Typology of Apparel Shopping Orientation Segments Among Female Consumers, 1993)

‘Market segmentation with respect to university students' clothing benefits sought', segmented the student casual apparel market. It concentrated on the university students. It based its segmentation on the clothing benefits sought and developed a profile of each segment. This profiling was done in terms of shopping orientations, attribute evaluations and re-patronage behavior. Frequency analysis, factor analysis, reliability analysis, cluster analysis, multivariate ANOVA, and the Scheffe test were employed for the analysis of data using SPSS.

The results were:

* Analysis of consumer clothing benefits sought generated 6 factors; attribute evaluation produced 2 factor solutions; shopping orientation generated 3 factors.

* Three consumer groups - composite benefit group, hedonic benefit group, utilitarian benefit group - were identified. They all sought different clothing benefits

* The study found quite a few differences in consumers' hedonic and utilitarian attribute evaluation among the groups.

The study also revealed differences in brand repurchase intentions and shopping orientations among the groups.

This study can be used by managers and clothing marketers to establish product plan and marketing strategy development (Pauline & Park, 2009).

‘A Shopping Orientation of French Consumers: Implications for Catalog Marketing', used factor analysis to identify shopping orientations within a sample consisting of French consumers. Then cluster analysis was used to group subjects according to their shopping orientation scores.

The objectives of the study were:

* To employ a factor-analytic examination in order to determine whether catalog shopping orientations exist among French consumers

* To classify the consumers into different groups of shoppers based on their shopping orientation profiles via a cluster analysis technique

* To determine whether these shopper groups differ across demographics and catalog shopping behavior

Analysis revealed that the catalog shopping segment was primarily motivated by recreational interests. Convenience concerns were only secondary motivations (Gehrt & Shim, 1998).

The article ‘Shopping orientation segments: exploring differences in store patronage and attitudes toward retail store environments among female apparel consumers' was written in order to identify shopping orientation segments among US female consumers. The sample for this study consisted of 151 women, of the age group 18years and over. It examined differences among the segments comparing it to:

· Store patronage preferences (i.e. discount, department, specialty)

· Attitude towards the place where the store is located when it is selected as first choice while shopping for an apparel (like a dress)

· Demographic characteristics

Cluster analysis was done. This led to coming up with 4 segments inorder to describe the female customers. They were:

· Decisive Apparel Shopper

· Confident Apparel Shopper

· Highly Involved Apparel Shopper

· Extremely Involved Apparel Shopper

Differences were noted among the shopping orientation segments for store of first choice household income and attitude (Moye & Kincade, 2003).

The purpose of the study, ‘Benefit Segments of the Female Apparel Market: Psychographics, Shopping Orientations, and Demographics', were two-fold:

1) Segmenting the female apparel market based on "descriptive clothing benefits” sought by female consumers

2) Developing a profile of each segment concerning shopping orientations, psychographics, demographics and patronage behavior

A mail questionnaire was used to called data of 1000 females from across the nation. Then cluster analysis was done on the benefits sought. Based on this, 3 groups were formed:

1) Symbolic/Instrumental Users of Clothing

2) Practical/Conservative Users of Clothing

3) Apathetic Users of Clothing

Chi-square statistics and MANOVA were used to reveal major differences among them based on 10 psychographic factors, 1 patronage behavior variable, 3 shopping orientation factors and 7 demographic factors (Shim & Bickle, 1994).

Research Proposal

To understand the benefits sought by consumers of footwear corresponding to the various categories of footwear.


1. To segment young adult footwear shoppers into unique footwear shopping orientation groups

2. To develop a profile for each segment with respect to footwear benefits sought, importance of store attributes, patronage behavior and demographics

Sampling Criteria

The respondents were required to fall within the age group of 18-25 to qualify as young adults for the purpose of the study. As the emphasis of the study in on modern retail concepts in relation to footwear shopping, respondents were required to belong to the metros and should preferably belong to the socio-economic classification group A. Also, as far as possible, there should be equal representation on both male and female respondents.

For the purpose of in-depth interviews, an additional sampling criterion was adopted. The respondent was required to be fond of footwear and should enjoy footwear shopping. This ensured that the respondent was sufficiently aware of basic footwear related information like retail outlets, prices, brands, etc. and would also be adopting a more informed and detail footwear shopping process.


The research methodology adopted was secondary research followed by primary research and data analysis. The secondary research helped in a broad understanding of the Indian footwear industry more particularly from the retailing and consumer perspective. This understanding was useful in the questionnaire preparation stage while conducting the primary research. The primary research comprised of both qualitative and quantitative research. In-depth interviews and questionnaire administration were the two tools used for conducting the primary research.

In-depth Interviews

In the first stage of the primary research, ten in-depth interviews were conducted comprising of five male and five female respondents, all satisfying the sampling criteria. The purpose of conducting these interviews was to get a first-hand understanding of the footwear shoppers behavior and parameters considered importance for footwear evaluation and for retail store evaluation. This understanding was highly useful was preparing the questionnaire for the second stage of primary research.

Following is the guideline adopted for conducting the in-depth interviews.

Guideline for in-depth interviews


Thank you for taking out your time and agree to this interview. This interview is part of my post-graduate research to understand footwear shopping behavior of young adults. I will not take more than 30-40 minutes of your time.

Section 1 - The following questions will help in understanding the extent of involvement of the respondent with footwear and also serve as warming-up question.

* How many pairs of footwear do you own? Would you please describe them?

* Why do you own different kinds of footwear? What purpose to they serve or what utility do they provide? (Probe)

* Do you categorize the footwear you own? If yes, what is the basis of this categorization (for example occasion of use, price, style, utility, etc.)?

Section 2 - The following questions will reveal what attributes the respondent considers important for footwear and how the relative importance of these attributes varies with different categories of footwear that the respondent owns.

* For each of the categories that you just described, would you please tell the attributes (like comfort, brand, quality, design, fashion, etc.) that you consider important for each of them and why? (Probe)

* How much on an average are you willing to spend on each of the categories of footwear that you mentioned above?

Section 3 - The following questions were designed to understand the basic footwear shopping behavior of the respondent.

* Do you yourself shop for your footwear? If yes, do you enjoy shopping for it? Who usually accompanies you when you go to shop for footwear?

* How often do you shop for footwear? What makes you go to shop for footwear? What proportion of your footwear purchase is impulse?

* What makes you purchase on impulse and what kind of footwear do you usually purchase on impulse? (Probe)

* Can you elaborate the shopping process that you follow to shop for footwear from the time you decide to buy to the time you make the final purchase?

Section 4 - The following questions will help judge the respondent's awareness of various formats of footwear retail stores and preference for a particular format, if any.

* Where do you usually shop for your footwear? Can you name a few stores? Why do you prefer these stores?

* Does the choice of store format differ with the category of footwear you want to purchase?

* How loyal are you to the stores you just mentioned?

Section 5 - The following questions will reveal what attributes the respondent considers important for footwear retail stores which contribute towards a better shopping experience and maybe a better conversion ratio of visitors into customers.

* What store attributes (like display, merchandise, salesmen, ambience, etc.) influence your choice of footwear store you shop in? (Probe)

* What all affects your shopping experience (positively or negatively) in a footwear store?

* What do you think can be done to improve your shopping experience?

* What can make you enter a footwear store on impulse?

* Now take a few minutes to imagine an ideal footwear store where you would love to shop. Please give a detailed description of the same.


Thank you for your time. I am grateful for your help in my research. Your opinions have proved to be most helpful.

Questionnaire Administration

After conducting the in-depth interviews, a questionnaire containing 60 line items was designed and administered through online surveys. Online surveys were chosen to administer the questionnaires over face-to-face administration because the population falling within the sampling criteria was most accessible through online surveys. Also this approach is much more time and energy efficient. The questionnaire was created and administered on www.surveymonkey.com. Following is the link to the same.


While designing the questionnaire, the SPSS analysis to be conducted on the data thus collected, was kept in mind. The questions were designed to be answered in an interval scale, as for conducting factor analysis or cluster analysis, an interval or ratio scale is most suitable. Here an even numbered rating scale (scale of 6) was used as against the semantic scale. Reason being, that all the questions asked concerned the respondent herself/himself and hence the chance of a situation of ‘no opinion' or ‘undecided' arising is almost eliminated. Hence I did not wish to provide the respondent the luxury of marking the median number on an odd numbered interval scale.

Following is the questionnaire used for the primary research.


(A rating scale of 1-6 has been used where 1 = Strongly Agree, 2 = Agree, 3 = Somewhat Agree, 4 = Somewhat Disagree, 5 = Disagree, 6 = Strongly Disagree.)

Note: Questions market with ‘*' were mandatory to be answered

The following set of questions attempt to understand the general disposition of the respondent towards their footwear.

*Q.1. Please rate the following on a scale of 1-6 (1 = Strongly Agree, 6 = Strongly Disagree).

1. My footwear affects my personality and appearance

2. I prefer more pairs of average quality footwear than few pairs of very good quality footwear

3. I decide my footwear according to the clothes I want to wear

4. I usually decide my footwear according to the occasion

5. I decide my footwear according to the people I will around

The following set of questions attempt to understand the general disposition of the respondent towards shopping of footwear.

*Q.2. Please rate the following on a scale of 1-6 (1 = Strongly Agree, 6 = Strongly Disagree).

6. I enjoy shopping for footwear

7. I shop for footwear on impulse provided they fall within a certain price range

8. I only go to buy a new pair of footwear to replace a worn out pair

9. I like to experiment with new styles or designs of footwear

10. I am not loyal to a brand/s of footwear

11. I like to purchase branded footwear because I want to be seen wearing it

12. I like to purchase branded footwear because they are very comfortable and durable

The following set of questions attempt to understand the respondent's preferences towards footwear stores and the importance of certain attributes while selecting a footwear retail store.

*Q.3 Please rate the following on a scale of 1-6 (1 = Strongly Agree, 6 = Strongly Disagree).

13. I prefer to go to multi-branded outlets than stand-alone stores

14. I prefer shopping at stores with all categories of footwear under one roof

15. Variety of brands is an important factor in choosing a footwear store

16. Variety of styles is an important factor in choosing a footwear store

17. I might go to a slightly less preferred store if it has good salesmen

18. I like to shop in spacious footwear stores

19. An uncluttered display is an important factor in choosing a footwear store

20. Attractive window displays will make me enter a footwear store

21. I always buy from the same stores again and again

22. I first visit the stores I prefer and then visit other stores

The following question attempts to understand the merchandising and display preferences of the respondent for a footwear store.

*Q.4. Rank the following in order of preference; rank 1 being the highest preference.

23. I would prefer shopping in a store which has its footwear categorized not only on the basis of type of footwear but also according to….

* Brands

* Colors

* Collections (eg. Winter, autumn)

* Styles (For eg. Heels, flats, stilettos)

* Price range

The following question attempts to understand the differences in the respondent's preferences for various kinds of footwear.

*Q.5. Please rate the following statements on a scale of 1-6 for each kind of footwear mentioned in Row1. (If you do not wear a particular category of footwear, mark N/A)

Sport shoes

Formal shoes


Sandals (flats)


Flip flops/Slippers

I would only buy branded footwear

It's important for the design to be new and attractive

It should last me for a long period of time

It should be very comfortable to walk in

I am not willing to spend much on these kind of footwear

The following set of questions, gather some demographic details of the respondent.

Q.6. Please specify the following:

1. Name ____________

2. *Age (Please choose one option)

* Below 18 years

* 18 - 25 years

* Above 25 years

3. *Gender (Please choose one option)

* Male

* Female

4. *Occupation (Please choose one option)

* Student

* Self-employed

* Working Professional

* Home-maker

* Unemployed

* Other (please specify) ________

5. Annual Income (if you are not earning, mention annual household income) ________

6. City of residence ____________

7. Email/ Contact no. ______________

The data thus collected was analyzed using frequency distribution, factor analysis and cluster analysis.

Expected Outcomes

1. Finding attributes considered important while evaluating any kind of footwear.

2. Understanding the difference in the importance of the above mentioned attributes for different kinds of footwear.

3. Understanding shopping behavior and footwear preferences of footwear shoppers.

4. Classifying footwear shoppers on the basis of differences in their shopping behaviours and footwear preferences.


A hundred responses were received for the questionnaire of which 85 were complete responses. Following are some demographic details of the 85 respondents.

Frequency Distribution

As revealed by the results of the in-depth interviews conducted, the display of footwear in a footwear retail store, particular in terms of categorization, greatly affects the shopping convenience and hence experience of a customer. If the categorization (according to kind of footwear, style, brand, color, price, etc.) is done well, it helps the shopper in easily browsing the merchandise which in turn helps in quicker decision making. This can further translate into a better shopping experience and maybe better sales.

Through the question ‘I would prefer shopping in a store which has its footwear categorized not only on the basis of type of footwear but also according to…. (rank the following, rank 1 being the highest)….brands / colours/ collection/ style/ price range' of the questionnaire, I hope to give some direction as to the levels and kind of categorization that is most desired by footwear shoppers. This question was analyzed using frequency distribution as shown by the following bar graph.

From the above graph we can see that the second level of categorization (the first level being according to the type of footwear like shoes, slippers, sandals, etc.) desired is according to Style of footwear followed by Brands of footwear. The third level of categorization (shown by bar column ‘rank 2') desired is according to the Price range. Colors and Collection are least desirable.

That the footwear at a footwear retail store be displayed according to the kind of footwear, is a hygiene factor. To provide footwear shoppers with a better shopping experience, at least two more levels of categorization must be done. A particular section of the kind of footwear should further be categorized according to different styles available in that kind of footwear or according to different brands available in different styles of that kind of footwear. A second level of categorization could be according to the price range.

For example, the hygiene factor for the display at a footwear retail store would be at the merchandise is categorized according to sport shoes, formal shoes, flip-flops, heels, etc. Within this, say heels, can be categorized according to pencil heels, short heels, wedges, platform heels, etc. This would qualify as the second level of categorization. Next, each of the above mentioned heels can be arranged according to the price range. This would qualify as the third level of categorization. Alternatively, the second level of categorization can be done according to brand available within a kind of footwear. This is more advisable for those kinds of footwear (like floaters) where there is minimal difference in the style and brand is an important criterion for the shopper.

Now, to understand what kind of level two and level three categorizations is suitable for different kinds of footwear, we need to know the difference in the importance that the shopper gives to different attributes while evaluating a particular kind of footwear.

Following is a frequency distribution analysis of Q.5 of the questionnaire where the respondent was asked to rate the importance of attributes like brand, design, price, comfort and durability for each of the six kinds of footwear.

In the above, if we consider only the two ratings of strongly agree and agree; then brand gets a score of 52*6 +17*5 = 397. Similarly, durability gets a score of 59*6 + 13*5 = 439 and comfort gets a score of 45*6 + 69*5 = 615.

Hence for Sport shoes, comfort, durability, and brand (in that other) are the most important attributes. From the in-depth interviews it was found that respondents associated brand very highly with quality, where quality in turn stood for comfort and durability. Design rates average on importance which says that sport shoes are used for essentially for their functional value. Also because durability in sport shoes is extremely important, their re-purchase cycle is very long. For all the above reasons, buyers do not mind spending on sport shoes and hence economy as an attribute is not important.

As in the case of sport shoes, for formal shoes also durability and comfort, but design assumes more importance here. Again people are willing to spend on formal shoes as well and have shown a preference for branded shoes as they can provide high durability and comfort.

From the chart of attributes desired in sandals given below, we can see that again comfort is by far the most important attribute. However here design has given way to durability as this category of footwear is more associated with fashion than with utility. The preference for brands is very low sandals as footwear shoppers see a direct trade-off between brand and design. For a certain amount of money, they would rather buy a pair of sandal that is very high on design than a pair that is branded but low on design.

From the above chart we can see that, for heels, an only women's footwear, brand is not important at all. Comfort here also is the most important factor. Both durability and design rate high and for this women shoppers are willing to spend on heels that they essentially wear to parties and other very formal occasions. Surprisingly, the preference for high quality and willingness to spend as not translated into preferences for brands, unlike in sport shoes and formal shoes; footwear which were purchased by men also. Hence this could mean that women in general are not as brand conscious as men when it comes to footwear.

For floaters, as shown by the chart below, comfort is an extremely important criterion by a very good margin. The reason being that floaters are worn whenever walking for long distances is required for instance while shopping or going for a stroll or sight-seeing. For the same reason durability becomes important and hence a preference for brands and willingness to spend. However floaters are desired to rate above average on design as they fall in the classification of casual fashion.

For flip-flops or slippers, as shown by the above table, comfort is again extremely important by a very comfortable margin. Very low willingness to spend as translated into an extremely low preference for brands. However as in the case of floaters, design also holds importance as slippers and flip-flops are worn out of home as casual fashion.

For a comprehensive analysis, weights of 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 have been assigned to responses Strongly agree, Somewhat agree, Agree, Somewhat disagree, Disagree, Strongly disagree respectively in the above frequency distributions. Hence maximum score that can be achieved is 6*85 (that is the total number of responses) which is equal to a score of 510. Following is the table of the above mentioned scores. (Note: The total number of responses for some kinds of footwear like heels for less than the maximum of 85 as the respondent did not own that particular footwear and thus marked N/A in the questionnaire. This will have a direct bearing on the total score for that footwear for each of the attributes)

Sport Shoes

Formal Shoes








































No responses







The above analysis can help understand what kind of level two and level three categorizations are suitable for different kinds of footwear and hence customize the categorization accordingly.

We look at the row numbers of brand, design and economy for each kind of footwear mentioned in row 1. For sport shoes as well as formal shoes, after the basic categorization (running shoes, basketball shoes, gym shoes, etc.), level two categorization must be done on the basis of brand and level three on the basis of design. Heels can be further categorized first on the basis of design and then brand whereas sandals on the basis of design and then price range. However for flip-flops this reverses to price range and design.

Factor Analysis

The data of questions 1, 2 and 3 of the questionnaire was run through factor analysis. However, these three questions together accounted for a total of 22 variables. Hence factor analysis was used to find co-relation between these variables and reduce them to a fewer factors which most strongly indicate the footwear shopping behavior and preferences.

Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling was done to ensure that ratio between sample size and variable is adequate. Bartlett's test tells us if the co-relation matrix is factorable or not. Following is the result of the KMO and Bartlett's test when done on the dataset of the 85 complete responses.

KMO and Bartlett's Test

Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy.


Bartlett's Test of Sphericity

Approx. Chi-Square






KMO should be at least .60. Here .613 falls within the desired range. As significance level is .05 and .00 is less than .05 and falls in the critical region and hence it is factorable. It rejects the null hypothesis that it is not factorable.

Total Variance Explained


Initial Eigenvalues

Rotation Sums of Squared Loadings


% of Variance

Cumulative %


% of Variance

Cumulative %






















































































































Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.

From the above table, factors with eigen value greater than 1 have been derived, which are 7 in number. These 7 factors together explain 58.851% of the variance.

Rotated Component Matrix(a)
















































































































































































Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.

Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.

a Rotation converged in 11 iterations.

The Rotated Component Matrix tells us the loadings of all the variables on each of the 8 derived factors and thus helps us define the factors. Following are the variables which have high loadings on the 8 factors individually.


Variables with high loading


Purchase branded footwear because comfortable

Prefer few pairs of high quality footwear



Buy footwear even when replacement is not required

Decide footwear according to clothes

Enjoy shopping for footwear

Shop for footwear on impulse if fall within a certain price range



Prefer to go to multi-branded outlets

Variety of brands is an important factor in choosing a footwear store

Prefer shopping at stores with all categories of footwear under one roof

Brand & convenience


My footwear affects my personality

Enjoy shopping for footwear

Purchase branded footwear becau

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