Retail Guide: Men’s Shopping List

POSERS, Los Angeles
Yaffa Sakhai, owner
Store count: 3 (ave. 5,000 sq. ft.); est. 1991

Hunting for: “We’ll continue to bring in many different brands and styles. Our customers come to us looking for everything from casual to dressy, and both creepers and boots do well in our stores.”

Buying strategy: “Hopefully every season we’ll buy more than the last year. The demand is definitely there.”

Shoes you can’t keep in stock: “All styles of Dr. Martens do really well in our stores. We are a very big account of theirs. And T.U.K., which is mostly creepers.”

Best price point: $99 to $150

Hottest new brands: “We have carried many of our brands for a long time, but Warrior, Ben Sherman and Merc are some of the favorites.”

Spring ’13 trend you’re betting on: “The casual styles from George Cox and Underground. Creepers will continue to be a popular choice for men, and we know our customers like the product we bring in from England.”

Spring ’13 trend you’re passing on: “We have all kinds of customers so, in men’s, there is nothing we want to discontinue.”

Mood at retail: “It will be better. Every season is getting better for us, even though the economy isn’t good. We can’t complain.”

What you’re doing to get people to buy: “We use our website and Facebook to communicate with our customers. People come from all over and we get orders from every state in the U.S. and sometimes Europe.”

BLUE SOLE SHOES, Philadelphia
Steve Jamison, owner/president
Store count: 1 (1,300 sq. ft.); est. 2007

Hunting for: “We’re hunting for edgy English oxford styles and suede loafers, especially in bold colors and unique and interesting textures. There was also a shortage of sandals and spectators this past spring, so we’re keeping our eyes open for those as well.”

Buying strategy: “We’re buying more than last spring because we’ve been experiencing consistent growth and anticipate more of the same going forward.”

Shoes you can’t keep in stock: “The Magnanni perforated-toe, hand-burnished monk strap. We also sell out of the Aldo Brue washed suede unconstructed driver with contrast edging and stitching. It’s a simple design with just the right amount of spice and it works for anybody.”

Best price point: $395

Hottest new brands: “Zenobi for dress and Blackstone for casual.”

Spring ’13 trend you’re betting on: “We’re betting on the English oxford style to be very popular, and anything sophisticated in white or red tones.”

Spring ’13 trend you’re passing on: “We’ll pass on the saddle shoe look. Although it’s a version of the English oxford, my bet is that there will be market saturation, which neither we nor our customer base cares for. We like to get in and get out.”

Mood at retail: “We’re looking forward to the fall and our mood is very optimistic. The people we’ve spoken to aren’t so much so, but we’re still hopeful.”

What you’re doing to get people to buy: “Customer service, customer service, customer service. We give our customers what they want and aren’t ever regretful. There’s always the next day and the next opportunity.”

FLY, Tampa, Fla.
David Patterson, creative director/buying manager
Store count: 1 (1,400 sq. ft.); est. 2010

Hunting for: “We’re constantly hunting for new, cutting-edge streetwear designs to introduce to the central Florida menswear marketplace. We’ll be looking for new and different men’s casual, casual dress and athletic styles.”

Buying strategy: “We’ll be buying slightly more. Our market seems to be buying in to our direction and it reflects in our sales.”

Shoes you can’t keep in stock: “Mark McNairy has put a very modern spin on the traditional brogue, and they’ve been doing well for us. He has saddlebacks in bright colors and multicolored options as well. He’s taken stuffy British brogue shoes and put some modern elements to it. They’re funky enough to stand out in a club but also a traditional shoe that can stand up in the work place as well. Also, the Converse All-Star, a classic shoe with a traditional silhouette, and the Reebok Iverson Retro release sold out immediately.”

Best price point: $50 to $100

Hottest new brands: “Android Homme, which are very exclusive, fashion-forward shoes with a higher price point of [$180 to $250] and very futuristic designs. We also have a renewed interest in Reebok because its new creative director has revamped the brand and brought a lot more street appeal to many of the styles. We also do well with Alife, Clae and Gourmet Footwear.”

Spring ’13 trend you’re betting on: “We’re definitely going to see a continuation of vibrant colors. We’re also going to see some metallics introduced into the fashion scape in general, so we think that will trickle down to footwear as well.”

Spring ’13 trend you’re passing on: “Leather loafers do not do well in our store.”
Mood at retail: “We’re optimistic. We have a big back-to-school market, and holiday always picks up for us as well.”

What you’re doing to get people to buy: “We do a lot of social networking on Facebook and Twitter pages. We also have a dedicated street team that has a presence at local concerts and events in and around town. We have developed a culture within the store with a knowledgeable staff that is embedded into the culture. Our store is a store as well as a destination to share ideas and keep building the culture we represent.”

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