3 Questions for David Bensadoun

Aldo Group, which recently announced its equity stake in BeachMint, is making an e-commerce push.

The Canadian firm replaces Steven Madden Ltd. as the footwear manufacturer for the company’s footwear-focused website, Shoemint.com. The site offers members monthly style choices, starting at $80.

“We believe in the ShoeMint business concept and the e-commerce concept,” said David Bensadoun, president of Aldo Group Retail and Aldo Product Services. “The footwear is actually very similar to what we offer in stores in terms of quality and construction.”

The deal, he added, is part of a larger strategy for Aldo to enhance its overall e-commerce business.

“ShoeMint adds to our direct-to-consumer business,” said Bensadoun. “We look at our business from multiple perspectives — as a retailer and as a wholesaler. The ShoeMint opportunity is building something new.”

Here, Bensadoun talks strategy and how Aldo will capitalize on the opportunity online.

1. What does the deal mean as part of the larger picture?
E-commerce is the biggest growth opportunity for footwear. In reality, we don’t see ourselves as only brick-and-mortar. We serve our customers wherever they may be. We have a very substantial e-commerce business, but we can now be more creative with promotions and the channel. This is an interesting play for us. Aldo Product Services and the e-commerce channel is something that is growing, and we were looking for a great partner.

2. What is your e-commerce strategy moving forward?
We’re going to approach it from a few different ways. [We’ll take] the bricks-and-clicks approach, which is our primary way to connect with consumers and get more and more customers shopping across channels. We see our e-commerce business as a way of strengthening brick-and-mortar, and our stores as a way of strengthening e-commerce.

3. What are your company’s New Year’s resolutions for 2014?
To learn from 2013, reach the consumer with great fashion at a fair price, have fun and stress less.

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