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How to Start a Shoe Store Business?

Why Choose Shoe Store Business?

Everyone needs shoes. They're a commodity that wear out and need replacing, and styles change constantly. Many women watch their pocketbooks with other garment purchases but will splurge on a great pair of heels. Shoes are a necessary clothing item.The retail shoe industry spans a wide array of buyers. From people who require orthopedic footwear to ladies who crave the newest ballet flat, there's a segment of the market that is open to new sellers. Some areas take more training and knowledge than others, so take some time to think about what types of shoes appeal and your long-term goals.


Stocking a Shoe Store

A shoe store is different from an apparel shop when it comes to stock. While a clothing store can get away with stocking one black sweater in small, medium and large, a shoe seller isn't so lucky. He has to think in terms of carrying a good range of sizes but also about buying sustainable, budget-friendly stock. For a women's black heel, this might mean one pair of sizes 5 through 7, two pairs of sizes 7 1/2 through 9, and one of size 10. It's also good to keep a liberal amount of the most common sizes: women's 7 to 9 and men's 9 to 11. These sell out quickly, so multiple unit purchases are advised.


Laying Out the Store

Shoe stores have different design needs than most apparel outlets. They should be carpeted to minimize try-on damage to the soles and must have plenty of both full-length and specialized, tilted shoe mirrors to afford customers the best view of the products. Shoe customers want their footwear to meld with both their wardrobes and their bodies and will appreciate a store with lots of visual aids.


Comfortable chairs are also a requirement. Most shoe stores have given up the hard metal chairs of years past for comfortable seats that invite people to stay and browse. People need to sit and try on shoes, so offer them a soft seat that reduces stress and calms nerves. Many will take the time to try on multiple pairs of shoes just to take advantage of the rest stop, which can turn into increased sales.


Advertising and Marketing

Shoes are one product that can be cross-marketed with other businesses in the area. Speak to nearby shops or the Chamber of Commerce to find out which stores would be willing to work out a joint promotional deal. Options for this include lending shoes for fashion shows,donating shoes for charitable events or selling shoes for a dance studio.


Many shoe store display rack also drum up business by offering discounts and deals. Dance shoe companies in New York City, for example, commonly grant a 10- to 20-percent discount to students of local dance studios. Regular markdowns or preview sale events also boost business. Community-level advertisement is probably the best way to grow a new shoe business, and cross-promotion increases local commerce while building new relationships.


Product Specialization

Many stores are stocking wide-width and plus-sized footwear. Others choose to carry extreme sizes such as 4s and 12s. Think about the product you're selling and your audience. A store that sells comfortable shoes for the sensible corporate worker might have more in the way of wide widths and sizes, but a trendy boutique probably won't get enough of that demographic's business to merit buying for it. Mission and demographic targeting is important and is part of the preliminary business planning stage.


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