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Shopsmart shoe poll finds women own an average of 19 pairs of shoes

Posted Monday, November 12, 2007

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Only Wear Four Pairs Regularly and Have Worn One Quarter of Their Shoes Only Once; New Issue of ShopSmart Includes the Ultimate Guide for Shoe Lovers


Yonkers, NY — How many shoes are in your closet? According to a new poll conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center for ShopSmart magazine, the average American woman has 19 pairs of shoes. But she only wears four pairs regularly and one quarter of the average woman’s shoes have only been worn once!

“This survey proves without a doubt that women are serious shoe collectors,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “Women obviously love their shoes and are willing to go to great lengths for them – including risking injury and hiding their purchases from a significant other! The latest issue of ShopSmart has the ultimate guide for saving big on designer styles and finding sexy pairs that really fit.”

The Shoe Poll is part of ShopSmart’s ultimate guide to saving big on designer styles and finding sexy shoes that really fit. The ShopSmart guide includes the five styles to buy now, a guide to the top shoe sites to check out, and advice for finding a great fit.

The ShopSmart Shoe Poll finds:

What’s In Your Closet?

  • 15% of the female population has over 30 pairs currently in their closets.
  • One third (33%) of women have trouble finding the room to store all of their shoes.

The Price You Pay

  • On average, women purchase four pairs of shoes per year.
  • 97% of women say that their shoe shopping has never created financial problems for them, but 13% have hidden a purchase from a significant other.
  • 60% of women have regretted at least one shoe purchase.

Suffering for Fashion

  • Close to half of the female population (43%) has been injured, at least moderately, by their shoes.
  • 8% of women have experienced severe injuries such as sprains or breaks.

Online Shoe Shopping-Not Yet a Big Hit

  • Unlike clothing, which is the most often purchased item online by women, online shoe shopping has not yet caught on. Only 14% of women make any of their shoe purchases online.
  • 74% of women said that their main reason for not shopping online is that they prefer to try on shoes before purchasing.

Tips to Online Shoe Shopping

The Web is where you will find the widest range of styles, sizes and bargains. And with the growth of free shipping on purchases and returns, shopping online is less intimidating. ShopSmart experts share their online shopping tips to help you get the best deal every time:
  • STICK TO BRANDS YOU KNOW: If you are new to shoe shopping online, sticking with brands you know and love can raise your odds of getting a pair that fits. Or shop only at sites with free returns like Zappos and Piperlime, which send you easy-to-use, prepaid UPS return labels.
  • TRY SHOES ON CARPETED SURFACES: When shoes arrive in the mail, only try them on carpeted surfaces so the bottoms won’t get scuffed. Many sites won’t accept returns if the shoes have visible wear, like rough bottoms, creases in the leather or any dirt.
  • KEEP ALL ORIGINAL PACKAGING: To ensure that the shoes will appear new if you choose to return them, keep everything including the little pack of silica gel.
  • SEND UNWANTED SHOES BACK FAST: Some sites, like Zappos, will accept returns for up to a year but most require returns to be made within 30 to 60 days of purchase.
  • SIGN UP FOR E-MAIL UPDATES: To catch the big bargains, sign up for e-mail updates to be notified of the latest sales.
ShopSmart Shoe Poll Methodology
The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. 1,057 interviews were completed among women aged 18+. Interviewing took place over June 29-July 2, 2007. The margin of error is +/- 3.1% points at a 95% confidence level.

About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon Consumer Reports’ celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. The magazine features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. ShopSmart is ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $5.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Borders, Kroger, Safeway and Publix.

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Shopsmart shoe poll finds women own an average of 19 pairs of shoes
The latest issue of ShopSmart has the ultimate guide for saving big on designer styles and finding sexy pairs that really fit.