Survey: Shoes Remain Must-Buy Item

Despite the worsening economy and dismal 2009 projections, nearly a quarter of consumers say they refuse to cut back on shoe purchases.

In a survey conducted by BigResearch from Dec. 16-18 for Stores magazine, 24 percent of those polled labeled shoe purchases as “untouchable” and said they refuse to cut spending on footwear.

Still, that figure pales in comparison to other must-haves. The survey revealed that 80 percent of respondents couldn’t live without the Internet, while 64.1 percent said they wouldn’t cut off their cell phone service. Meanwhile, 60.5 percent listed cable television as a necessity, followed by apparel (43 percent), haircuts and coloring (40 percent) and fast food (36.6 percent).

What are consumers willing to do without? The survey found that 92.2 percent of respondents believe luxury handbags are expendable. Satellite radio, specialty apparel items, high-end cosmetics, maid service and facials were also listed as areas where consumers are willing to scale back.