Retail Guide: Women’s Shopping List

Walnut Creek, Calif.
Tamara Vladic, co-owner
Store count: 1 (1,000 sq. ft.); est. 2004

Hunting for: “Comfort is always key, but it has to be something with a twist, something quirky. Customers come to us for what is new and different; I can’t sell basics to save my life.”
Buying strategy: “Fall is always strong ­because we’re known as a place to buy your cool boots, so we always tend to ­increase fall buys.”
Can’t keep in stock: “Chie Mihara. I could sell her shoes all day long. I also wish [I’d] ordered more Fiorentini & Baker and Martha Davis.”
Best price points: Low $300s for shoes, lower $500s to $700s for boots
Hottest new brands: H by Hudson, Area Forte, Martha Davis
Fall ’11 trends you’re betting on:
“Tall boots, flat boots and oxfords. The menswear look also is going to be strong.”
Fall trend you’re skipping: “High-heel pumps. I can’t sell them.”
Mood at retail: “Optimistic. We’re shooting for the stars.”
What you’re doing to spark sales: “We’re continuing our hands-on service, from calling and e-mailing customers when new merchandise comes in to driving and sending packages to people. Our blog also has been very successful.”

Coral Gables, Fla.
Rebecca Brothers, co-owner,
Store count: 1 (950 sq. ft.); est. 2009

What is your take on fall ’11 trends?
“We know lower heels are coming back, but we need height, so we’re sticking with platforms.”

À Pied
Trudy Robinson Foley, president
Store count: 1 (800 sq. ft.); est. 2008

Hunting for: “A really good convertible boot, like what we’ve seen from Corso Como and Everybody. It’s a concept that has grabbed people’s attention and gives them a reason to buy.”
Buying strategy: “My buy will be bigger than last year’s. I’m going to base it on what my upfront buy and reorders were last year.”
Can’t keep in stock: “Gee WaWa’s Toni boot in pewter, a basic that goes with everything, and Gentle Souls’ Rupert Jane Mary Jane style.”
Best price points: $350 to $380 for waterproof dress boots, $150 to $160 for shoes
Hottest new brands: Gee WaWa, Chocolat Blu
Fall ’11 trend you’re betting on: “Reasonable-height, exposed-platform heels and boots.”
Fall trend you’re skipping: “Distressed men’s styling that looks too masculine.”
Mood at retail: “Determined. The customer is interested in new styles.”
What you’re doing to spark sales: “We do trunk shows where we bring in special styles and have giveaways. We also do private shopping nights.”

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