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Goody two shoes: where Aussie women buy their footwear

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015 (n=1,648).

As anyone who’s ever watched an episode of Sex and the City would be well aware, women share a special relationship with their shoes. In fact, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that 1.9 million Australian women (almost one in five or 19.2%) buy footwear in an average four-week period, up from 1.7 million last year. 

Kmart is the most popular store for footwear purchases, with 10.9% of all women who buy shoes in any given four-week period buying them there. Big W is close behind (9.3%), while Target and Rivers come in joint third, attracting 4.8% of female footwear-buyers respectively.

Top 10 retailers among Australia’s footwear-buying women


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015 (n=1,648).

Kmart’s popularity is driven primarily by women aged under 35 years, particularly the 18-24 year-old bracket. Almost 20% of women in this age range who buy shoes in an average four-week period make their purchase from Kmart. Big W is especially popular among shoe-buying women aged 25-34 (13.9%), while teenage girls aged 14-17 are dramatically more likely than their older counterparts to buy their footwear at Spend Less Shoes (17.4% of all shoe-buyers in this age group).

Women in the 50+ bracket who buy shoes in an average four weeks tend to be over-represented at Rivers (7.7%) and The Athlete’s Foot (5.8%).

Andrew Price, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Footwear is serious business and women place a high importance on their shoes. Marilyn Monroe once said, ‘Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world’ – and with nearly one in five Aussie women purchasing footwear in an average four weeks, we can only hope that at least some of them are on their way to fulfilling her prediction. 

“A woman’s attitudes to shopping can reveal a lot about which retailers she is likely to prefer, including the stores where she’s most likely to buy her shoes. For example, an above-average proportion of women who buy their footwear from Kmart agree they’ll go out of their way in search of a bargain, whereas those who buy theirs at The Athlete’s Foot are far less likely to be concerned about scoring a bargain. Tellingly, this dynamic is reversed when it comes to buying Australian-made, with Kmart shoe-shoppers being far less likely and Athlete’s Foot customers being much more likely than the average Aussie woman to try to buy Australian-made products as often as possible.

“Women who purchase footwear at Spend Less Shoes are substantially more likely than their shoe-shopping sisters to feel they were ‘born to shop’, while those who shop for shoes at Myer are markedly more likely to agree they’ll buy a product because of the label.

“With an additional 200,000 women buying shoes than they were at the same time last year, stores keen to take advantage of this upturn need to ensure they have a holistic understanding of their current (and potential) customers: from their attitudes to shopping to their demographics, financial circumstances, retail habits and more. By assisting retailers to pinpoint their target market, Roy Morgan Research data enables them to tailor their marketing to reach the women that best fit this target profile.”  

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%