The opportunity across insoles continues to be a direct appeal to that female shopper. Manufacturers have long acknowledged that the female head-of-household historically has been the primary purchaser in this category, even when most of the insole products were skewed decidedly toward fitting within a man’s shoe.
But the last few years have seen the merchandising of the category see-saw more toward a female-friendly foot care set featuring insoles designed specifically for women’s shoes (e.g., high-heels) and salon-style products marketed as the cheaper alternative to a professional pedicure.
“Innovative items like [Airplus’] Aloe- Infused Socks or [Dr. Scholl’s] Fast Flats have been received very well by the customer,” noted Steve Head, EVP Implus Foot Care. They’re products that bring “a little more utility for the customer — in this case her — and in some instances a little bit of simple luxury,” Head added.
That kind of beauty position in foot care, as opposed to a strict cures-what-ails-you marketing play, is what has kept overall category sales from a steady decline. Total foot care sales were slightly down by 0.7% to $592.2 million across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart) for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 7, according to SymphonyIRI Group.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Foot Care Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.