It sounds mad to say, but getting a good footwear offering can potentially add 50%+ to any fashion stores turnover. Footwear itself can be the main draw for what brings customers through the door. But this never used to be the case with retailers...

In our offices, I find myself reminiscing back to the good old days fairly regularly, passing on my experience’s to the younger members of our team. A couple of days ago with a smile I said “Back in the day, fashion stores never sold footwear, we sold the clothes and then our customers would wander off and buy footwear elsewhere.” Normally as I reminisce I suspect most of what I say is politely acknowledged, however this comment grabbed everyones attention, “what - no way” was the resounding remark from everyone in the room. This got me thinking, when did this change? Who were the fashion businesses who started to introduce footwear into their stores?

Occasionally for example way back when, Diesel for instance would do a small collection of footwear which by default we would stock, this was just merchandised next to jeans and no big thought went into this. If in the following season they no longer offered footwear then we didn’t either. It would be great to get some input from other retailers with better memories of how fashion clothing and footwear started to be stocked together. Few thoughts to finish on; JD started selling fashion within their athleisure stores, whilst Scotts and Wade Smith also had a big part to play in Liverpool/North West and after this I feel it became the normal business model in the UK to stock footwear and clothing together. Let me know below if you have anything you can add to this as it would be great to get a conversation going.

July 06, 2023 — Martin Webster

Leave a comment