Blog #187 I talked about when Zappos moves away from dropship model in 2003. In this blog I want to talk about Size and width brands is my focus
It was great being back in the Footwear industry. Part of my focus was to increase the Size & Width area. These would be brands that would carry extended sizes and widths which was perfect for an online business.
My game plan was to contact my reps from Nordstrom that carried these sizes. Since I did all three women’s areas I had a lot of brands to choose from. Lucky for me I was always nice to the reps unlike some of my peers which helped me get my foot in the door.
The first person I called was Kent from Stuart Weitzman. They were known for their beautiful designer shoes and extended sizes. I met Wayne at Nordstrom in Palo Alto and would talk to him when he had appointments with Daryl. When I got transferred to Valley Fair our relationship blossomed and we had great increases with Stuart there. Kent wasn’t too reassuring of what my chances would be so I needed a strategy.
Next I called Joe from Magdesians. Made in the USA and extended sizes were perfect for my new focus. I knew Joe from Palo Alto and Valley Fair. Like Kent we had good success in building a business. Fred wanted me to ask for extended dating as well since there were so many sizes. The plan was to represent the brand fully.
One brand I already had in my portfolio was Skechers. There were many different divisions of Skechers from dress to Athletic. While they didn’t have too many extended sizes they had some. I felt it was a perfect way to develop our Skechers business as the volume was pretty low. I threw down the 1 million dollar challenge and it worked.
I met with Dana and the Skechers team. I had known Dana from my Arden Fair days when he was my Bass rep. He was a great guy and I enjoyed working with him. “How do we get Skechers to 1 million dollars?” I asked them. Keep in mind our overall volume wasn’t near what it is today so back then this was a nice goal to achieve. In exchange for an extended credit line I would buy more sizes in all the styles and grow the business to exceed 1 million dollars.
We were far below that at the time. Dana was great in making it happen and they agreed and today Skechers is one of our bigger brands.
My first month was going great. Then I experienced my first Fred ? email. It was a question on Steve Madden Terms. The first thing I thought of was to go over to Fred since he was just a few desks down and explain what was going on. Fred looked at me and said “Uhhh we communicate through email here”. Okay obviously there were some “office rules” I needed to learn. I planned to have Aaron fill me in on this soon. It wasn”t the last ? mark email I ever recieved from him and each time it would make your heart sink. Most of the time it was about business but every now and thing it would be how you conducted yourself. It was a great little weapon he had and quite effective…
Another fun thing in the office (No really this time) was that one buyer would be responsible for ordering everyone’s lunch for the Merch meeting every week. My turn was next week. Eileen was quick to inform me that she had a “food group” and to stay within the boundaries. This was going to be interesting…
SIZES... SIZES... SIZES... SIZES...
…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career.
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