Blog #139 I talked about the Reps who helped turn it around. In this blog I want to talk about the key brands we made huge
There are always hot brands that come and go in business. And in our industry reps tend to change companies frequently as well. Every now and then the stars align and we get to enjoy a hot brand for an extended amount of time and the rep that helps drive it. The next two reps and brands prove my point.
Sudini was the brand and Steve was the man that drove it. And Steve wasn’t the type of rep to take advantage and load us up. In fact it was quite the opposite. When I first got into the department the first thing Andre told me was we missed Sudini boot sales frequently. The previous buyer didn’t buy enough.
The line itself was primarily a boot brand that was made in Italy. They would always try some sandals in the spring but boots were the driving force. They also came in a selection of sizes and widths. The buy could be quite expensive so you really had to plan it out properly. Steve was great at coming in and sizing us up every month.
One particular month he came in and handed me a reorder that pretty much had ones and twos per size. I said jokingly he had to stop writing shoes like a pussy or we wouldn’t ever reach our potential. The definition for this word means coward or weakling just so we’re all clear. then proceeded to put ones in front of his numbers so 2 size 7’s turned into 12.
He looked at me and said “are you sure?”. Dude…I’m sure…
Our Sudini business blew up from there. Our salespeople weren’t missing sizes anymore. We were smart about what sizes we did reorder so I didn’t put a 1 in front of the sizes we didn’t sell that well but in the guts I sure did. We would usually work the line each time he came in then we’d grab a nice lunch or even dinner on occasion. Our business grew and so did our friendship.
Nickels was a pretty big brand for Nordstrom, especially in Palo Alto. When Scott came in the first time when he was the RMM he emphasized it. Again the salespeople told me we missed Nickels sizes frequently. This was a different beast though. There were a lot of styles that we sold but two style in particular were huge. The Nani and the Nona. I decided to put those on a never out basis so my reorders were pretty big with those styles. Narrow and deep…Rob would have been proud.
Terry was the rep. he was pretty good at coming in every month but like Steve wasn’t used to my narrow and deep philosophy. Terry wasn’t shy though he went after it so I ended up toning it down a bit. We had two full tables of Nickels product and always up front. The line was pretty extensive and was made by the same group that did Via Spiga another great brand for us.
Living room floor
We would spend a whole day writing orders for this brand, it was that big. On one occasion Terry had a late start so he asked if we could just do it at my house and order pizza in. We laid out the brand on my living room floor by delivery and wrote orders into the night.
We ordered some good pizza from a local place and knocked it out. I didn’t invite reps over like that too often so my family got a kick out of it. The kids didn’t fully grasp what their dad did for a living so it gave them a pretty good picture. Like Sudini our Nickels business exploded into a huge business.
These two key brands we made huge. Mostly in part to these two guys that helped drive it.
SIZES... SIZES... SIZES... SIZES...
…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career.
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