If The Shoe Fits: Tips For Incorporating Footwear Into Your Store

Cinderella discovered that the right shoe can change your life. Marilyn Monroe mused if you “give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” Top retailers know that introducing shoes into their product mix can change their business.

Learn how you can incorporate shoes into your clothing store with these tips:

High Heeled Shoes At Atlanta Apparel Market LEARN THE TERMINOLOGY. Like any industry, shoes definitely have their own jargon. Brush up on manufacturing terms, heel descriptions and shoe parts before you place an order. It’s also important to understand differences in shipping terminology – open stock means you can order a combination of sizes, case pack means that you receive a manufacturer-selected assortment of sizes that can be based on most popular sizes, availability or both.  Knowing these terms will help you better work with the lines.

UNDERSTAND SIZING. While they are based on a different numbering system, apparel sizing techniques can be applied to shoes. Introduce a shoe line like a new clothing line – with the most common sizes, 8 and 9. Once you have the line for a while you can adjust your ordering based on your customers’ needs. As with clothing it’s also important to know nuances in sizing across the world. European styles do not have half sizes and British size equivalents are one less than their American counterparts.

SURVEY YOUR STORE. Most people like to sit down when they try on a pair of shoes. Do you have a place for them to take a seat? Also look at what your sales associates are wearing and encourage them to wear styles you’re selling.

Shoe Buyers at Atlanta ApparelESTABLISH YOUR SERVICE LEVEL. Do your customers prefer to work with a sales associate? Feature a few shoe samples on the floor and have the associates bring the correct sizes out the customer with a few more options. If your store is more self-service oriented, stock the inventory on the floor and make sure the shoes are ready to be tried on: lace them up, remove any extra packaging and organize them by size and style. It’s also helpful to have a supply of disposable footies available near the try-on area.

ACCESSORIZE. The right accessories to go with your shoes aren’t just bags, jewelry and scarves, also consider carrying heel inserts, dust bags, tights, socks and hosiery that complement your product mix.

CREATE COMPLETE LOOKS. Dress your customers from head to toe. Include shoes with your display outfits or show them with a complementary accessory. Will those wedges look great with your “it” bag? Show them together and create a must-have fashion moment.

Boots at Atlanta Apparel MarketWORK WITH THE SEASONS. Shoes tend to have a longer shelf life, so you can continue to keep them fresh throughout the change in season. A great boot pairs with tights and a dress in the Fall and a heavy sweater in the Winter. Mix up your styling to showcase the shoe’s longevity and show your returning customers how great the shoes she bought from you last month look with a whole new outfit.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR BRANDS. Many people are shoe brand loyalists. Use their passion for the line to drive sales to your store. If the brand allows it, use their image or name in your advertising and store displays. Use the brands to get their loyal fans in to your store so you can turn them into your loyal customers.

Atlanta Apparel’s Temporary Shoe Studio and Premiere collections and Permanent Fashion Accessories & Shoes and Women’s Apparel collections feature dozens of trend-making shoe collections, all available at the March Atlanta Apparel Market (Showrooms: March 19-23, Temporaries: March 19-22, Social Occasion: March 18-20). See a full list of shoe showrooms on www.AmericasMart.com.

Special thanks to Brandon Brewer of Naughty Monkey and Not Rated and Matt Lombardi Fit Flop for their assistance with this post.


Icing on the Cake: “Bundle Up” for Greater Profits

TJReid2(I was inspired to do this article after visiting my daughter’s store, RUBY,  where I noticed how many little items she had tied together with ribbon as a “set.”  There were several bracelets together, panty packs of two, three or five, a package of three tees, etc.  The pricing was even numbered like $10, $20, etc. and as a shopper I could realize how quick and easy this choice could be. It seemed especially effective for the Valentine shopping season in progress.  The more I thought about it, the more I felt the need to share “bundling up” for better profits with each of you!)

All of us enjoy a sweet deal, by just like icing on the cake, it can be overdone.  Bundling is a delicate blend of ingredients that:

*Sweetens the deal for your customers
* Increases your average sale
* Boosts your employees’ productivity
*Reduces your risks

If you are considering bundling, ask yourself these questions:

1) What are some of the challenges shoppers face in buying clothing
Some folks are color blind or have no fashion sense. They are in a hurry and forget to buy the related purchases they need. They long for help in making    decisions.  A bundle is already combined and ready – no choice.

2) What can I bundle together to make life easier for my customers?
Shoes and Handbags
Assorted Accessories that mix/match
Hosiery for the outfit
Socks for the shoes
Tees with Jeans
Tops w/suits
Slippers with robes
Panties with bras
7 panties (one for each day)
Basic tees set (red, black, white)
Lip gloss and mirror
Gloves & scarf
Anything that makes sense together or fills a need!

3) What benefits would buyers gain from bundles?
Customers would save time, whether shopping for themselves or a gift, they would find things easier. A bundle usually adds more versatility and functionality to a wardrobe by mixing and matching. Shoppers usually think a bundle is a better deal and they feel good about saving.

4) What benefit would the retailer gain from this?
Total sales should increase. Multiples units would be sold. Customers would appreciate the creativity and novelty of the combination.
Employee’s productivity should go up because they will generate more sales dollars per customer.

Look around, what goes together as the perfect bundle in your store?

Learn even more and be further inspired at TJ’s seminar at the Apparel Market on Saturday, April 2 at 10 a.m. She’ll get you excited about driving traffic through promotions and contests. More information on her seminar and full lineup of events can be found here.

More on bundling can be found in “Pricing for Profit” by Dale Furtwengler, available from www.amaconbooks.org.

October Market Turns it Up with New Lines

apparellistingimages-newThe October Atlanta Apparel Market is just around the corner, and it’s packing in the lines! The apparel team has been hard at work securing the best lines and the biggest names that you want to see. It’s all here…contemporary, young contemporary, shoes, accessories, special occasion, swim and much more!  You won’t want to miss it!

Want to know who will be here and who’s new? Find out the featured new lines here.

Atlanta Accessories Make the Outfit

Igarlandf it’s June, it’s accessory time in Atlanta. The June Atlanta Apparel Market traditionally means it’s stocking up on accessories and 2010 is no exception. Buyers are filling in with immediates as well as ordering for next season with an array of interesting pieces to drive add-on sales.

            For fall and winter, look to hats and richly colored leather bags as well as lighter fabrics and colors for winter resortwear. Accessories span the spectrum from ivory, deep navy and eggplant wool hats to diaphanous kaleidoscope patterned scarfs. Jewelry is both multi-layered and clean – depending on the outfit. Strands garlandnecklaceof pearls, beads, stones and links garner immediate attention while clean, almost spare metals are delicate without being dainty. Chains and metals pair with leather in everything from belts to bracelets to shoe ornaments. Pattern abounds from head to toe in myriad brights as well as traditional plaids.shoechain

            From shoes and shoe ornaments to belts to hair bands embellished with flowers and beading, accessories literally outfit head to toe and can build profit more quickly than anticipated. No matter what kind of customer frequents your store, there’s an accessory item to complete the outfit and the sale.


Building 3 Open Showrooms!

Coming to Atlanta?

Check out these showrooms and more open in Building 3 on Friday, February 19, and Monday, February 22!

open show blog

  • Elephantito – 13S333
  • Freddy Simon and Associates – 11E110
  • Green Associates Maternity and Accessories – 13W361
  • Larry Lucas Inc. – 13W126
  • Mark Garland – 11S116
  • Michael Perry – 11E108
  • Moda – 8E118
  • MJK Global Sourcing – 8E111B
  • P Inc. – 11E109A
  • The Miners – 8N314
  • Tim Philbin Accessories – 8E112B
  • Total Accessories – 7S114

Click here to check out a full list of our open daily showrooms!

Spring 2010 Accessory Trend Update!

shoes pic   scarves    shoes again

January Market was filled with Accessories as Buyers looked for cute, classy and fun trends! All across market trends included:

  • Cuff Bracelets
  • Studded & Colorful Bangles
  • Bling & Sparkle Details
  • Big Chunky Rings
  • Piled on Jewelry including Necklaces & Bracelets
  • Colorful Leggings
  • Summer Scarves
  • Jewel Tone Pumps & Sandals
  • Patent Pumps & Sandals
  • Python Prints in Flats & Sandals
  • Mixed Media Accessories & Metallic Accents

Check back next week for more trend updates and let us know what trends you saw during January!

New Temp Changes at Market, Starting Today!

scarvesJanuary Atlanta Apparel Market starts today!! We are so excited to announce new changes to the temporaries on Floor 3. The 3rd Floor will now feature Ready To Wear, Accessories, and Shoes. Make sure to stop by and check out all the new product and new lines to Atlanta Apparel. 

Also, plan to attend the Grand Opening Cocktail Party on Friday January 22 at 5 p.m. to enjoy a one of a kind cocktail and shop the new additions to the 3rd floor.