by Susan Reed
Elastomeric Material Solutions
A member of our Rogers’ marketing communications team had the opportunity to work for a brief stint on the shoe buying team of one of America’s largest retailers. As Rogers is a major supplier of cushioning materials to the shoe industry, we thought it would be fun to learn more about her experience from the “other side of the desk.” Macey Streeper, who now works as a Marketing Communications Specialist for Rogers, willingly shared some aspects and insights from her former job with us during a recent interview.
INTERVIEWER: What ‘buzzwords’ attract shoe customers?
Streeper: “American-made” was a big drawing card for us. If a product has specific American-made technology or aspects, especially in shoe buying, it is typically more popular. Another buzzword is ‘hand-crafted.’ Brands or styles sell better with craftsmanship behind them to make them feel more personalized rather than mass-produced.
INTERVIEWER: What role does color play in shoe selection?
Streeper: Color is one area that involves a bit of psychology. For example, in the comfort shoe department, the target audience is typically either people who are on their feet most of the day, or older women, or women who might have issues with their feet. Comfort shoes are seen as ‘practical’ and we would keep that in mind when choosing different colors. I remember a conversation we had about a red shoe. We had to ask if this was the right shoe to buy in red because red is such a strong color. The customer looking to buy that shoe would likely see themselves as a strong person. Those conversations definitely came up, if we ventured outside the realm of the standard black, brown, and blue, there had to be a reason behind that decision. The colors that were most popular were light pink and maroon.
INTERVIEWER: Is there a difference between buying and selling shoes for men vs. women?
Streeper: Choosing colors and varieties and seeing what was ‘on trend,’ is quite similar across genders. We did, however, find more volatility in demand for women’s shoes vs. men’s. For each season, we would purchase a set quantity of shoes for men and that would carry through for the whole season. We’d maybe have a replenishment on hand but overall the selling rate would be steady. For women’s shoes, we watched the quantities carefully because it changed often. For example, if there was an especially rainy week, boots sale would be especially high and we’d have to restock. Shoe quantities are more reactive to events and weather. Because of that, our sales prices and clearance prices for women’s shoes would be unpredictable and vary by style. Whereas for men, sales were very consistent. (Laughing) I guess that says something about the difference between the sexes.
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For more info on Dillard’s, visit www.dillards.com
Published on Mar 04, 2019