Longtime retailer and brand Bakers Shoes is joining the wholesale market for the first time. Following Zigi NY’s purchase of the retailer two years ago, the label will launch exclusively at JCPenney in more than 70 stores for fall, starting Monday.
“People identify with [Bakers]. We had to figure out who that customer was and what they are looking for as far as product,” said Zigi NY President Andy Petersen. “To be able to take that over to the wholesale business, we felt [JCP] was true to the brand heritage within the industry.”
Jodie Johnson, JCPenney’s SVP and GMM of footwear, said the shoes, which feature bright colors and youth-driven details like glitter, will work well for the JCPenney customer while also attracting a wider consumer base. “This partnership with Bakers will bring a new customer who wasn’t shopping our footwear [previously].”
Price points are also key for the agreement — the average style will sell for $75.
“We’re always very respectful of our customers pocketbook. W want to make sure to bring her great style at a place our customer can afford,” added Johnson.
Prior to this deal, Bakers was selling at its standalone stores, as well as Zigi NY stores in key areas across the U.S.
“We’ve had to close stores and move into outlet-type stores, and we haven’t really expanded the business because retail hasn’t been easy,” said Zigi NY President Andy Petersen. “We’ve learned a lot from it — we’ve cleaned up our inventory and focused on our web business.”
But after this fall season, the teams plan to expand the door count, based on performance. At each store, the number of styles will range from 15 to 20 SKUs.
“After some test-driving, we will put some items into other markets. Our product assortment will vary depending on the time of the year, but as we learn what [our customer] reacts to, we’ll stock accordingly and constantly introduce new fashions,” said Johnson.
Now, with this new partnership, Petersen is more bullish about the Bakers’ future.
“Our focus is gaining profitability within the JCP store base that we haven’t had before, with a new flow and fresh product,” he said.