SHOES CAN BOOST RETAIL SALES NOW, SAY EXPERTS

In What's New, Industry News by Accessories Staff

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Shoes have now become more valuable merchandise in the retail industry

In these uncertain times, shoes are a retailer’s best friend now.

According to experts, shoes are now pivotal for a brand’s business growth, given how prices of handbags have increased in recent years. The footwear sector, apparently, is now more accessible.

This tidbit comes in at a time when luxury is in a slowdown, and retailers are looking for alternatives to bolster sales figures amidst uncertainties such as terrorism in Europe, economic slowdown in Asia, and the U.S. elections, among others. Consultancy firm Bain & Co states that 2016 will be the first year to see a decline in luxury purchases since 2009.

Shoes seem to be exempt in the current situation, like how lipstick is seen as a panacea for tough times in retail. Investment firm Bernstein expects the footwear sector to grow 5% annually in the next five years, with customers finding gratification in buying shoes.
“Difficult phases of the market trigger compulsive shoe shopping,” said Michele Norsa, an industry expert and a former executive for the Italian fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. And brands are now briskly taking action.
This year, for example, Chanel’s new boutique in Honolulu is solely dedicated to footwear, with the vision to increase demand for its shoes, and eventually, for other goods also like cosmetics and clothes. Over at Gucci, the brand has extended its personalization services to sneakers, which allows consumers to customize their shoes through having their initials embroidered, among others.
Apart from brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers such as Yoox-Net-A-Porter have seen significant growth in selling shoes, with Bain reporting that online sales comprise about 15% of total shoe purchases around the world. Yoox-Net-A-Porter, to illustrate, stated that its shoes sales during 2016’s Thanksgiving weekend doubled compared to last year’s.
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