In an effort to reach more independent retailers nationwide, Nina Shoes has launched an Internet initiative catering exclusively to smaller specialty boutiques in the country’s harder-to-reach regions.
“Most of the people [we’re targeting] are not Nina customers, but mom-and-pop stores down the block,” said Patti Cohen, Nina’s SVP of marketing and corporate affairs. “It’s just not possible or cost efficient in these economic times to send [reps] to all these stores in these tiny little towns.”
The wholesale portal, which launched in the spring and will make its debut at WSA in July, is targeted toward independent retailers in areas without local sales representatives and those that have difficulty attending trade shows, said e-commerce director Erin Hansen.
The business-to-business program, she said, works similarly to the company’s e-commerce site, but is available only to pre-approved retailers not already working with a Nina sales rep. Retailers are not tied to minimums once they place an initial order of $200 and currently can place orders for immediate delivery — with shipping fees of $6 for the first pair and $2 for each additional pair — or delivery further off.
About 100 retailers, mostly bridal and special-occasion stores scattered across the Midwest, have signed up for the service so far, but Cohen noted they are working from a list of about 1,600 stores and have the potential to reach considerably more than that.