Understand the dynamics of the women's footwear retail industry
The retail shoe industry is constantly growing, as shoes are being manufactured more inexpensively and a wider range of styles are available in all areas. Women's shoes controls nearly a quarter of the entire industry, with women's business shoes increasingly taking over the market as more and more women find power positions in the business world.
Whether you are starting up a shoe store specifically for women or expanding an existing business into the area of women's shoes, it is essential to understand the industry in order to successfully sell women's shoes. Use a women's shoes industry overview to:
1. Discover an unfulfilled niche, such as women's wide shoes.
2. See opportunities for growth of your current retail shoe business by offering a wider range of products or price ranges.
3. Think about how other factors affect your specific shoe business, such as weather and demographics.
Join shoe trade associations to stay up-to-date on women's shoesJoining a trade association will keep you up-to-date on new innovations and technology, new competition, trends and styles, new designers and manufacturers and events.
Build your business around specialty women's shoesWhile there are large chain shoe stores in nearly every town, find an unfulfilled market in specialty shoes that are in demand in your geographic area. This may be specialty fit shoes like narrow or women's wide width shoes, women's wide dress shoes, high heels in large sizes (10 and up), or special comfort women's business shoes.
Connect with the right distributors of business shoes for women at trade showsAttend retail trade shows to search through many manufacturers and distributors that have unique products to offer. It is important to find shoes that are the right price range and style for your store.
Look to heavy hitters in the industry to see their top sellers in women's dress shoesPay attention to the large store chains to see what styles are selling the most. This will keep you up-to-date on styles and trends, as well as give you an idea of what products are hard to find and pricing strategies in order to stay competitive.
- Pay close attention to fashion trends and what hits the runways, especially if your target market is young and trendy women.
- Nearly half of the entire shoe industry belongs to athletic shoes; use this information to your advantage whether your only local competition is athletic shoes, or you need to offer athletic products to bring customers in.
- In the shoe industry especially, customer service and unique store design and product display play important roles.