Guest Post by Jacqueline Bodnar
People in America may well own more shoes than any other people in the world. In fact, it has been reported that each person in the U.S. purchases an average of eight pairs of shoes per year, with the National Shoe Retailers Association reporting that the average per-pair price for their stores is $85. It is easy to see just how quickly people’s annual shoe expenditures can add up. Take a typical family of four. If they are buying the average number of pairs per year, that could add up to more than $2700. In today’s shaky economy, that just isn’t flying.
Shoe Sales Slump, Prices Rise
A few years ago, there may not have been a problem with people buying shoes as they pleased, but we all know that the economy has changed for the worse within recent years. The American Apparel & Footwear Association reports that shoe sales slowed in 2007, exhibiting a decline of 0.4 percent industry-wide. When you consider that nearly $60 billion is spent on shoe sales annually, even a small-percentage slump in sales can amount to a drastic reduction in earnings.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 13.7 million people were unemployed in this country as of April 2009. Because so many people are having financial difficulties, shoe sales, among other things, are expected to continue to decline. And the news gets worse, because shoe prices have been rising, with some manufacturers citing oil prices and others pointing to the weak dollar. People are still in need of the product, but they are now looking for thriftier ways to purchase them. In other words, saving money is ‘in,’ in a big way.
Saving Money, Discounts Abound
One way that people can still have their shoes and wear them too, so to speak, is to opt for discount shoes, rather than paying full retail rates. While doing some price comparisons can save 10-25 percent off the price, there are places, such as online shoe store Shoe Metro, that sell shoes at 50-60 percent off the retail price.
Just how much money would the United States population save if everyone began purchasing their shoes from discounters, rather than paying full price? The number is shocking, especially when you look at it on a national scale. The average American family could save over $1300 per year. The country as a whole could be saving $30 billion annually. Think the U.S. economy could use an extra $30 billion floating around? That keeps a lot of money in the pockets of those who need it, during this current economic recession.
Bargain Shop, Walk in Style
Let’s face it – we are not going to stop purchasing shoes. We are a country that loves them. We have them for all seasons, sports, and everything in between. But we are also living in times when we need to pull back on spending and re-evaluate where our money goes. We have to make every penny count, right now, even though we need new shoes.
When it is time once again to buy new shoes, whether for summer, sports, or heading back to school or the office, do your yourself a favor: bargain-shop by checking out what discount shoe stores have to offer. You have nothing to lose and up to 50 percent off to gain.
American Apparel & Footwear Association. ShoeStats 2008.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economic News Release. April 2009.
National Shoe Retailers Association. Mission.
Sun Sentinel. Shoe Sales in U.S. Lose Footing Thanks to Higher Prices. August 2008.
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