To help navigate the evolving terrain, the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America has launched Shoeconomy.us, a tool that aims to capture the economics of the footwear industry across the U.S. The website sheds light on footwear employment, retail and production. It also features import data and flags locations of footwear retail outlets, corporate headquarters, regional offices, warehouses and factories.
Shoeconomy users can click on map filters to see national information, or click on a specific U.S. state to dig into their own local footwear economy, and the various names that pop up aptly reflect the breadth of the varied parts of the industry.
Matt Priest, FDRA president and CEO, explained that he hopes the website will serve as a one-stop quick hit that people can count on as a reference point however frequently they choose to visit. The website will enable a quick way to track the overall progression of the industry and, in particular, brick-and-mortar. Priest noted this will help drive the narrative that brick-and-mortar remains a critical force despite changes in consumer demand.
The website is updated almost daily, and continued feedback will be instrumental as the project evolves.
“My hope is that a year from now we will have a more robust, dynamic snapshot as people get to know the site, engage with us and allow us to update,” Priest said. “That’s what I’m excited about — this continued engagement.”
Priest said that the FDRA aspires to consistently talk to the industry about the best ways the association can represent them, and this is one of various tools to do that. “Engage with us and help us tell the industry story,” he urged. “It’s more important than ever to tell the dynamic story of the footwear industry.”
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