Surveys by Publications:
Footwear Insight Textile Insight Outdoor Insight

When do you expect brick-and-mortar stores to return to “normal” and how would you define “normal”?

“I don’t think it will ever be normal again. I think there will always be some degree of separation or distance between people.” Female, 25

“I’m glad stores are starting to reopen. I appreciate their efforts to help everyone feel safe in the stores. Normal has changed so much, hasn’t it? I would say that cleanliness has always remained my #1 priority, along with customer service and pricing. I don’t expect those items to change.” Female, 44

“Normal would be no masks, and I don’t anticipate normal until a vaccine is found and disseminated, and/or we get better at treating this or preventing the spread.” Female, 31

“I am not convinced that things will ever go back to ‘normal.’”Female, 36

“No floor markings. No limits. No masks.” Female, 42

“Is something we have to adjust [to], but normal will be for me to feel free to go shop without a mask.” Female, 31

“I believe by the end of June/early July. Normal would be with masks, with sanitizing products in the store, limited customers, barriers between customers and cashiers.” Female, 51

“In Pennsylvania, the Governor is ridiculous. No normal until a vaccine is established.” Female, 43

“I don’t expect brick-and-mortar stores to return to ‘normal’ until at least spring of 2021. I also don’t know how to define ‘normal’  — I will be comfortable shopping (with a mask and sanitizer and with limited other shoppers) later this year… Female, 39

“I don’t think it’ll happen anytime soon, but ‘normal’ is no masks, no clear dividers between customers and cashiers, no limit on number of people in the store. I appreciate the cleaning and hand sanitizer and hope that stays.” Female, 35

“Locally, most have with the exception of limits on capacity. However, most local stores are rarely ever at capacity. I feel like this is the new normal. Masks during cold/flu season, increased service options to compete with online-only businesses, and more community engagement to promote their brand.” Male, 39

“Never. I live in Illinois and they will never allow normal.” Female, 48

“Expect to be back to normal in a month or two. Normal means no face mask, normal business hours and back to 100 percent capacity.” Male, 47

“Hopefully ASAP. Normal means not worrying about this.” Male, 46

“Not soon enough.” Male, 32“I would expect for them to return to normal only once this pandemic has been determined to be undoubtedly resolved through the availability of a cure and/or safe immunization for the general public. This would be for the sake of our society’s physical health and well-being as a whole. In my point of view, ‘normal’ in the context of shopping at brick-and-mortars would include doing away with: heavily implementing social-distancing, limiting number of customers in-store, prohibiting use of our own reusable bags, and debit/credit card as only forms of payment, just to name a few.” Female, 33

“Nothing will ever be normal again. If someone sneezes, the whole state will be on lockdown again.” Female, 22

“I think we are living the new normal.”
Female, 29“Normal = my running store having group run events again. I think this will happen to some extent by the end of summer.” Female, 30

“I don’t see normal for at least two years — [normal meaning] the good ole days going in to try 50 pairs of shoes on, converse with employees and enjoying a good laugh without fear.” Female, 44

“Before Christmas hopefully, and no more face masks!” Female 32

“To me, I think every store should be open now. Except for the deep-cleaning practices, normal now should be as it was before the virus.” Female, 30

“Ours have, for the most part. Normal here [FLA] is defined as having your head in the sand and thinking the pandemic is a liberal conspiracy.” Female, 40

“Normal is me being able to sit and linger at the store as long as I want so as I would not be pressured to decide on buying new shoes.” Female, 32

“Normal would mean not wearing masks. The cleaning protocol should be adopted permanently. I don’t anticipate a return to normal until January 2021.” Male, 35

“I don’t think brick-and-mortar stores will ever return to normal. I view normal as allowing unlimited customers to enter, to roam as they please, touch merchandise, etc.”Female, 43

“I don’t think we will return to the same normal until there is a proven vaccine.” Female, 24

“Never. I think this will be the new normal.” Male, 47

“Labor Day. Normal would be defined as actions and standards (by customers and businesses) the same as prior to the pandemic.” Male, 29

“Oh geez let me think. Well . . . probably not for the remainder of this year, but then again, we have a short-term memory here in the U.S., so the likelihood of us acting like we did prior would take only a month in my opinion. Now, continuance depends on how measures are enforced. To me, normal is the same standards prior to the pandemic.” Male, 37

“A year? I’m not sure what normal looks like anymore. I don’t think we will be going back to the old normal and I hope we don’t need to continue at the current level of precautions. Hopefully we will end up somewhere in the middle.” Female, 54

“Probably not for another year or so — it will be back to normal once there is a vaccine. Normal is when we go into a store without having to wear a mask or worrying about touching items or seeing people in public.” Female, 40

“I hope it happens this month, and it would be whatever all stores were doing in January and February.” Male, 21

“I feel that we will have a new normal for the foreseeable future until there is a vaccine available for COVID-19. We as Americans have a short memory so I feel within the next year, normal life will resume again. I do hope that the normal will include the hygiene practices that people have started to use (even though it should have been part of their normal routine anyways) and the cleaning practices now being used by businesses to help keep public places and surfaces cleaner.” Male, 33


How important is a “Made In America” product label in your decision making process?


“I prefer to buy American but knowing that many products are sourced elsewhere and only assembled in the US has decreased my interest in shopping this way.” Male / 30

“Love to support local companies, but not a decisive factor in my decision-making.” Male / 28

“If it is comparably priced to a product that isn’t made in USA, I’ll pick the one made in USA.”
Female / 36

“While Made in America is nice to know, price is also important.” Female / 37

“More importantly would be what state it is made in. Made in America feels quite general.” Male / 27

“It is more important when purchasing items online. If I can determine quality (and fit) for a product in a brick-and-mortar store, where it is made does not matter.” Female / 45

“The assumption is a USA made product will be quality but that does not always hold true.” Male / 28

“As long as the company treats their employees fair, it doesn’t matter what country it comes from.” Female / 30

“I generally do not think about where a product is made before grabbing it, but if I happen to notice two products side-by-side and one clearly states that it’s made in the USA, I’ll get that one, depending on the price difference.” Male / 27


“I prefer Made in America to help our own economy grow and because I believe our quality is second to none.” Male / 31

“It will be the decider between two similar items.” Male / 18

Because we make a good quality products Female / 39

“I enjoy most when a product is made here in the U.S. We have all the resources and talent.” Male / 38

“Giving back to American is very important to me.” Female / 38


“There is no clear benefit to ‘Made in America’where product quality is concerned, and price is usually higher regardless.” Male / 32

“I’m more concerned about the brand than where it’s made.” Female / 37

“Things made in America are usually more expensive and not always better quality.” Female / 29

“Great quality products are made [all over] the world. I would love to keep the money in the American economy because I live here but it would not affect my decision to purchase a product.” Male / 31


Do you relate the concern about plastics to your wardrobe products made with polyester?

YES / 34%

“I recently washed a sweater then dried it by mistake. The way it feels and ‘sounds’ makes me wonder what it really is!” Female / 49

“Natural items sound better.” Female / 56

“I do know this is a bi-product, but its synthetic nature outweighs the plastic concern.” Male / 38

“I worry about toxins in all areas of the environment, including my clothes!” Female / 48

“I try and limit plastics both in my housewares and my clothing (like polyester) as they can harm sea-life.” Male / 31

NO / 66%

“I’ve never thought of this before. I think I should.” Female / 41

“I had not considered that before, but it’s a good point that probably gets overlooked due to water bottles and grocery bags getting most of the press.” Male / 30

“I hadn’t thought about clothing being part of the growing plastic accumulation on our planet.” Male / 41

“I haven’t yet, however after reading this question I will be.” Female / 38

“I never really thought about plastic being in polyester. That’s a really great question.” Male / 29

“I’ve never really thought about that to be honest since polyester is so ingrained in the outdoor community.  This is something I’m going to have to research more.” Male / 42