Retail Guide: Juniors’ Shopping List

PINK PUMP, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Tawny Thieu, owner
Store count: 4 (avg. 1,800 sq. ft.); est. 2006
Where you’re putting your money for spring: “With the success of our Pink Pump clothing brand, we will be investing money toward developing a line of Pink Pump shoes.”
Buying strategy: “To not overload on trend pieces. It’s better to sell out than have a rack of markdowns. We always test new products in our flagship before investing dollars for all four locations. We also bring in new designers to keep things fresh.”
Biggest challenge: “Breaking the negative stigma that Michigan is not fashion-forward. Vendors are always shocked at the orders we place.”
View on the economy: “We have continued to grow despite being in one of the worst-hit states. People are still spending; they’re just doing it more wisely. More attention to quality and customer service is key in surviving this slump.”
Current bestsellers: Rock & Republic, Report Signature, Jessica Simpson
Hottest new brands: “Kelsi Dagger, which is at a great price point. Hunter has also added new leather and suede fashion boots that are to die for.”
Best price point: $100. “[Shoes at that price] fly out the door.”
Spring ’11 forecast: “Architectural shapes, multicolored shoes and chunky heels may make a comeback. Nude colors resurface every spring due to versatility.”
Next big thing: “Sky-high wedges with architectural influences.”

MARY JANE’S, Park City, Utah; St. Louis
Lori Harris, owner
Store count: 2 (avg. 2,000 sq. ft.); est. 2004
Where you’re putting your money for spring: “I will most likely stick with sandals and wedges.”
Buying strategy: “I’m making sure to have a lot of variety at moderate prices. I’ve been trying to work with designers who will sell me six pairs instead of 12 to offer a lot of choice without breaking the inventory bank.”
Biggest challenge: “Selling. People are so shell-shocked at this point that if they don’t feel they’re getting good value, they’re just not buying.”
View on the economy: “It’s probably going to be rocky for another year or longer, at least in the markets I’m in. I don’t see jobs coming, and I don’t see a whole lot of optimism.”
Current bestsellers: Ugg, Frye, Jeffrey Campbell
Hottest new brand: Kelsi Dagger
Best price point: $79 to $89
Spring ’11 forecast: “I expect it to be even with this past spring, which has been the trend the last couple of years.”
Next big thing: “I’m seeing a lot of hidden wedges again. And a lot of clog styles — pumps, boots, all with a clog bottom.”

SHOE FLY, Highland Park, Ill.; Boulder, Colo.
Jeff Shapiro, owner
Store count: 2 (avg. 2,200 sq. ft.); est. 1999
Where you’re putting your money for spring: “It’s too early for me to determine that until I go through a major show like FN Platform.”
Buying strategy: “Our goal is to be first in, first out — even with brands that are out there in a big way like Steve Madden. We’re concentrating on bringing things in early, working closely with vendors and banking on the ability to reorder.”
Biggest challenge: “Trying to drive customers in your door when competition is so fierce and getting them to spend money on things they don’t necessarily need but want.”
View on the economy: “It is what it is. You have to focus on your business and think your strategy through of carrying price point items and doing what you do best.”
Current bestsellers: Steve Madden, Jeffrey Campbell, Sperry Top-Sider. “Short Western boots that girls are wearing with sundresses and leggings have been strong for the time of the year.”
Hottest new brands: “I’m excited about the product from Old Gringo. Also Big Buddha, a non-leather vegan line, and Converse’s Chuck Its mesh slip-ons.”
Best price point: $100 or less
Spring ’11 forecast: “Our business will improve. We’ll be up from where we were this year and last year.”
Next big thing: “More rugged, casual, distressed-type boots will hit big for fall, whether it’s a Frye-type look or [something similar].”

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