Retailers Upbeat On Fall

Buyers shopping last week’s Atlanta Shoe Market said the outlook for fall is positive, despite uncertainty among consumers regarding the outcome of the upcoming presidential election.

“[The success of the season] really depends on what happens with the election,” said Beverly Wasilewsky, principal of Marietta, Ga.-based ComfortFeetShop.com, noting she believes achange in the White House will help spark the economy and consumer spending.

Deborah Schuemann, co-owner of Village Bootery in Tequesta, Fla., said she anticipates a slower start to the season, since many customers are holding back on spending until after the election. Overall, though, Schuemann said she is feeling bullish about fall, citing the store’s more focused buying strategy. “We’ve tightened up our buy and [more closely] examined our brand mix. We feel we’re positioned really well.”

At Columbia, Miss.-based Kelly Shoe Boutique, the season is already off to a healthy start. “It’s been great so far,” said owner Kelly Harvey. “We have a few fall shoes in already. It’s still hot but people want closed-up shoes and boots.”

Shoe Country in Tupelo, Miss., also has seen an uptick in sales. “People have a better attitude about the economy,” said Corey Chunn, the store’s manager. The weather is cooling off, and [consumers] are ready to go shopping.”