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How Streetwear Retailers Are Luring More Female Sneaker Shoppers

Streetwear retailers have long been known to attract a predominantly male audience. However, as brands aim to increase their sneaker assortments for women, these retailers are now tapping into this audience through expanded in-store real estate, targeted social media and more.

Here, five retailers discuss how they are going after female consumers as these consumers become increasingly interested in today’s hot sneaker brands.

Ankur Amin, CEO, TGS Holdings Co.

“As a 12-year-old business with deep roots in streetwear and sneaker culture, there weren’t many female-focused apparel brands then and the majors didn’t offer the same selection for women in footwear. Now, the female streetwear consumer is a targeted audience and we’re committed to offering a more-rounded assortment. Our goal is to have her shop a full look — whether it’s a pair of Nike Air Max [sneakers], straight-leg pants or cropped tee. We’re adding to our mix of female-focused brands and offering equal real estate. While we’ve always offered collaborations in smaller sizes to accommodate female customers, we’re working on women’s-specific collabs and private-label pieces, and our marketing and social media teams continue to pursue initiatives, product activations and editorials that are female led.”

Derek Curry, owner, Sneaker Politics

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“Sneaker Politics launched as a male-focused store, and it wasn’t until five years ago that we started offering women’s-specific products. It had been intimidating for a woman to walk into one of our locations in the early years because there were always a ton of guys hanging out. Now, I’ve started ordering more women’s products and doing events that speak to them. These efforts, along with footwear brands doing more shoes in [smaller] sizing, are helping bring the female customer into our stores.”

GM, Alife

“We’re a destination retail location, so whether you’re a male or female customer, you have to make your way here. However, a lot of women customers identify us as a cool guy’s shop. While we fight against the stigma daily since we carry sizes for women and men, few female customers really know it. For the coming holiday season, we will begin to utilize our social platform to help educate our customer with posts more targeted to women.”

Lauren Amos, owner, Wish ATL

“Luckily, we do not have a problem connecting to the female consumer — she comes in every day. She is asking for the shoes and clothes she sees from our men’s offering and wants those in her size [so] we offer extra-smalls and smalls in apparel and smaller shoe sizes. Footwear brands are doing a better job offering unisex sizes, which is great to see. Also, the female consumer shops differently. [He] may come in for one outfit and wear it a specific way, however, she wants to make sure her purchase can be styled a number of ways to always look fresh.”

Lauren Cardenas, GM Sneakersnstuff New York

“The female shopper has evolved so much in the last 10 years. We went from rocking Louboutin shoes to sporting retro runners. The female appetite for footwear isn’t that much different than our male counterparts, yet the offerings from brands aren’t as expansive. When presented with female options, it’s always a shrink-and-pink replica of the latest men’s style, and this is where the roadblock gets harder to climb.”

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