Retail Guide: Juniors’ Shopping List

SHOO, Madison, Wis.; Shoostore.com
Kate Blake, owner/buyer
Store count: 2 (ave. 1,700 sq. ft.); est. 2005

Hunting for: “We’ll keep our eyes open for different takes on the canvas shoe, like we saw from Report, as well as new sandals and wedges at a good price.”

Buying strategy:  “We’re projecting the same, but with new fabrications or exciting ways to do the ‘last year’ looks.”

Shoes you can’t keep in stock: “Toms and more Toms, specifically the classics in ash and red, as well as their new cork wedge. We also did very well with the Dolce Vita Archer thong in nude.”

Best price point: $59

Hottest new brands: Toms, Big Buddha, Dolce Vita and Seychelles

Spring ’13 trend you’re betting on: “The wedge trend will continue to be strong for our customers.”

Spring ’13 trend you’re passing on: “The high-top sneaker doesn’t fit in our stores.”

Mood at retail: “We’re cautious as we head into fall. Since we had such an unseasonably warm winter last year, there’s a lot of inventory left over.”

What you’re doing to get people to buy: “We use Facebook and Twitter, and also have Toms ‘Style Your Sole’ events, shoe parties and send online coupons to our customer base.”

FAMOUS FOOTWEAR
Annie Hanson, buyer, juniors’/contemporary
Store count: 930; est. 1960

Hunting for: “We’re focusing mostly on canvas slip-ons, boat shoes, crocheted looks and lots of color.”

Buying strategy: “We think there is opportunity for juniors’ casuals next spring, so we’ll be concentrating our buys on that.”

Shoes you can’t keep in stock: “Rock & Candy and Roxy boat shoes are consistently strong performers for us.”

Best price point: “In juniors’ casuals, $40 seems to be a great price for the brands and trends we offer.”

Hottest new brands: “Rock & Candy and Fergalicious have become strong performers in the juniors’ department.”

Spring ’13 trend you’re betting on: “Canvas slip-ons in fun prints and colors will be the big idea for spring.”

Spring ’13 trend you’re passing on: “We’re keeping our flats more casual and less dressy this year. Our girl wants to be comfortable and casual.”

Mood at retail: “There are a lot of fun new trends within the casual area, so we’re optimistic that shoppers will have a reason to update their shoe wardrobe.”

What you’re doing to get people to buy: “In addition to our new ‘Victory’ ad campaign, we will run our ‘Rock Your School’ promotion again this year, which is an opportunity for a high school to win up to $75,000 toward educational improvements.”

DNA FOOTWEAR, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Dnafootwear.com
Daniel Kahalani, CEO
Store count: 8 (ave. 2,500 sq. ft.); est. 2004

Hunting for: “New brands with a good price point are on our list. Fresh brands are always important. The juniors’ girls are looking for a lot of color, and something fun, different and cute. The more color you have, the more it sells.”

Buying strategy: “We always like to expand, so we’ll probably look to do the same or more with an option to buy more at season.”

Shoes you can’t keep in stock: “Toms light canvas shoes and Salt Water sandals. We also do well with any Vans styles, and Sperry Top-Sider is looking better and better every season. We’re excited for what’s to come next spring from them.”

Best price point: “For spring, $50 to $70 is the magic number range when it comes to volume.”

Hottest new brands: “We’re the first retailer to sell Gelattto flip-flops in the U.S., and we had 70 percent sell-throughs in the first weekend in our stores. Also, Maguba clogs and, again, Toms, Sperry and Salt Water.”

Spring ’13 trend you’re betting on: “A lot of lightweight canvas and other lightweight materials with a lot of colors. It was all about neons and vivid colors this spring, and next spring is going to be even stronger.”

Spring ’13 trend you’re passing on: “We’re over the glitter. There’s so much out there. We also will pass on low-price product that isn’t made well.”

Mood at retail: “It varies from day to day, but the bottom line is that for fall, it’s all about the weather. People are really buying close to the season, and for us, it depends on the weather.”

What you’re doing to get people to buy: “We run holiday sales, and every time we get a chance, we do some kind of promotion, whether on our website or in brick-and-mortar. A lot of our [marketing] budget in the next 12 months will also go into social media.”