“Business this year has been good, regardless of the crazy and inconsistent weather,” said Jack Oerth, SVP of sales, marketing and design for the Chino, Calif.-based brand, which launched in 1998 with a collection of sandals.
Yellow Box recently beefed up its staff, adding a director of operations and director of product. Oerth joined the company about a year ago. He was previously the division president at Nine West.
The brand also will open its first showroom in New York later this year. “This supports our growth initiative. We want to have a New York presence and get more business,” said Oerth, noting Belk and Dillard’s are two of the label’s largest accounts.
Here, the executive sounds off on retail goals and branching out from sandals.
1. As a newer addition to Yellow Box, what are a few of your goals?
JO: I want to build this into a year-round brand. We have a great business, but we want to make sure we can offer the customer what she wants all year. Last year, we started introducing some boots and booties into the collection, and we are seeing the resurgence of dress shoes again.
2. How will product expansion translate at retail?
JO: We just added Macy’s as an account and we are trying to create more tailored sandals, or more items that are appropriate for other regions, like the Northeast and Midwest. We also are looking at different ideas in Asia and Europe, but we are in the early stages.
3. Are there any challenges in keeping sandals as the core of your business?
JO: There is not a challenge in keeping the sandal business healthy, but we have had to [develop] the collection. When Yellow Box was founded, we didn’t do EVA and now we’ve hit on those EVA embellished looks. And the ultimate consumer expects more fashion items. We just want to make it a lifestyle brand, and I’m happy with how consumers have accepted the different product categories.