Retail Guide: Juniors’ Shopping List

ZELAYA SHOES OF BETHESDA
Bethesda, Md.; Zelayashoes.com
Store count: 1 (2,500 sq. ft.); est. 2002
Tony Zelaya, president & owner

HUNTING FOR: “We’ll be shopping for wedges and platforms because that trend will continue to be strong. We’ve also seen an upswing in Western-influenced products and the men’s-tailored influence.”
BUYING STRATEGY: “I always like to say [I’ll buy more] because I want to have an increase in volume. I feel like we’re on an upswing this year, and I hope that continues.”
SHOES YOU CAN’T KEEP IN STOCK: “I’m blowing out of Chie Mihara’s Daquelo style. Sbicca’s Vibe is also a slam dunk, especially in the natural color, which I sold out completely.”
BEST PRICE POINT: $50 to $200 for spring; boots $250 and under
HOTTEST NEW BRANDS: Antelope, Diego di Lucca, Kelsi Dagger, Penny Loves Kenny, Modern Vintage
SPRING ’12 TREND YOU’RE BETTING ON: “Espadrilles will be much bigger next year than they were this year.”
SPRING ’12 TREND YOU’RE PASSING ON: “There won’t be any pointy-toe shoes. There used to be more variance, but that look will be out.”
MOOD AT RETAIL: “I’m confident it will be good. We had no spring, so hopefully fall will be better.”
WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO GET PEOPLE TO BUY: “Social media is my biggest outreach. Also every two weeks during the summer I’m sending out 500 to 1,000 postcards, and I’ve figured out how to get the most from using Groupon.”

LULUS.COM
Chico, Calif.
Store count: 1 (online); est. 1996
Debra Cannon, CFO & head shoe buyer

HUNTING FOR: “I’m in love with bright colors, fabrics and also color-blocking. Wedges and platforms will still be strong, so we’ll be looking for them.”
BUYING STRATEGY: “We’re buying more as our online shoe sales are growing, but with the increase in wholesale prices, we may see some price reluctance from the customers. I will be watching the numbers carefully.”
SHOES YOU CAN’T KEEP IN STOCK: “Jeffrey Campbell is a genius of design variation. Michael Antonio creates amazing combinations of fabrics in its stylish heels and wedges.”
BEST PRICE POINT: “You cannot beat the volume shoes from JP Original, Fortune Dynamic and East Lion, which almost always sell for under $50.”
HOTTEST NEW BRANDS: “Privileged is making really adorable shoes at a great price point. Matiko is very on trend at a higher price point.”
SPRING ’12 TREND YOU’RE BETTING ON: “Color-blocked wedges.”
SPRING ’12 TREND YOU’RE PASSING ON: I’m not sure about the feather embellishments. We’ll have to see where that trend goes.

LOVE MY SHOES
Huntington Station, N.Y.; Lovemyshoes.com
Store count: 5 (average 7,000 sq. ft.); est. 1996
Robert Yeganeh, owner

HUNTING FOR: “A lot of wedges, especially higher wedges with details on them. We’ll also look for new materials on sandals and fresh brands with a new vision to styling.”
BUYING STRATEGY: “We’ll be buying more because we think customers’ moods are a little better. They’re finally realizing that fashion — especially under $100 — is very important. It’ll boost the morale that’s been down a few years.”
SHOES YOU CAN’T KEEP IN STOCK: “Jessica Simpson season after season is doing great. The high-heel platform pump really gave the season a boost. We’re also having a lot of fun with Breckelles’ Angie group and Unsensored’s Andrea group.”
BEST PRICE POINT: $59 summer; $79 fall
HOTTEST NEW BRANDS: Blossom, Breckelles and Unsensored. And Dollhouse “is reinventing itself with new price points.”
SPRING ’12 TREND YOU’RE BETTING ON: “Ballerina flats with a lot of new treatments, bows and details, as well as high wedges with new treatments and details on the actual wedge.”
SPRING ’12 TREND YOU’RE PASSING ON: “Overly expensive goods that have no merits. We refuse to pay just for a name. It’s about the quality and value in items.”
MOOD AT RETAIL: “It’s getting better. We had a great June, and it looks like they’re paying attention again to wardrobe and fashion sense.”
WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO GET PEOPLE TO BUY: “Our customers are loving our buy-two-get-one free. We work with a lot of local charities and continue to do fashion shows at local lounges and nightclubs with the radio stations.”

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