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Contemporary Footwear Indicator, July 5 2014

What’s selling now in the world of contemporary footwear?

Women’s

Ed Martin Managing director of The Golden Boot in Maidstone, Kent

“This season’s most popular brands are Toni Pons, Hispanitas and Rapisardi. Toni Pons and Hispanitas cost around £50. However, Rapisardi is more formal and can therefore range from £100 up. Our sales have increased 15% from last year, which could be down to us pushing for more niche brands such as Chatham, which is priced between £89 and £99. Our tactic as an independent retailer is to push these smaller, less well-known brands.”

Levi De Belgeonne Manager of Dogfish in Norwich

“Going to the gym is getting more popular because of the upcoming summer holidays, so our running shoes have been one of our top sellers. Nike running shoes range from £60 to £100, and sales of the brand seem to be even with - if not better than - last year. We’re always on the lookout for new brands. We’ve found the younger generation also know more about newer brands because of the emergence of fashion blogs and other forms of social media.”

Harriet Mann Supervisor at Tinfish Shoes in Leicester

“This year has had a slow start in comparison with last, but our major sellers have been Vagabond, Fly London and Dr Martens. Vagabond is very popular with young adults and teenagers right now, with prices between £40 and £90. Fly London and Dr Martens on the other hand range between £80 and £150. We’ve had a great response on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter and [these are] a big marketing point for us. They help us introduce new brands as they generate so much interest from our younger customers.”

Laura Steer Director of Toad in Chesterfield

“We always like introducing new brands. It keeps it fresh and encourages our customers to keep coming back. Our most popular products recently are from Skechers and Converse (both from £45), whose trainer-style shoes are very popular. Skechers seems to be selling strongly because of its TV campaign, while Converse is simply still in fashion. In terms of sales compared with last year, online is up 10% but in store it is about the same.”

Karen Little Director of Haswell Shoes in Nuneaton, Warwickshire

“Our most popular styles are Ara’s dressy sandals (between £55 and £65) and the extra-wide shoes we offer, from a vast array of brands such as Easy B (between £65 and £89). Since we specialise in wide-fit shoes, it can sometimes be difficult to find a brand that combines this requirement with good style. This means we don’t introduce new brands regularly as we fear we may do so just for the sake of it. We tend to only introduce one or two per year, but our customers often take to them very well.”

Jane Lord Brand co-ordinator at Javelin in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

“Bury St Edmunds was voted one of the best towns to live in [by The Sunday Times] because of its historical features, so many of our customers are visitors. Our more classic styles and brands are the most popular - in particular court heels from Ted Baker (from £120) and brightly coloured wedges from Nisa (from £100) are selling. They are both well known and customers tend to opt for them because they are brands they know and love.”

Men’s

William Jones Manager and assistant buyer at Natterjacks in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey

“There is such a strong following for Adidas Classics, particularly the Gazelles (from £27.99), and this season has been no different. Our other brands, specifically Nike and Clarks, have also been impressing. Surprisingly, the autumn 13 Desert London shoe from Clarks has been well received this summer too.”

Paul Khatkar Buyer at Mirage Menswear in Portsmouth

“Our bestsellers are the Cesario low-tops from Creative Recreation (£65), as well as loafer-style shoes from a range of brands such as Ted Baker (from £70) and GH Bass (£110). They appeal to two very different markets. Creative Recreation in particular offers something a little bit different and this is welcome because styles in footwear have been quite similar for the last few seasons.”

Nicholas Thorne Menswear buyer at Question Air, which has four stores across London

“Right now Grenson’s classic brogues (from £190) are very popular, as well as many styles from Paul Smith (between £150 and £300). Many people are going into pre-summer holiday mode as well as buying summer essentials, so we’ve introduced a new brand for spring 14 called National Standard (£150 to £189) to appeal to this shopper.”

Andy Swain Menswear manager for Real Clothing in Southwell, Nottinghamshire

“It seems trade has been slow all over the country, so the fact our sales are down compared with last year is no surprise. Ideally we aim to introduce three or four new brands every season but the classics - specifically Loake brogue and boat shoes (from £200) - are still our main sellers. They are English and well made, which our customers love.”

Michael Down Owner and buyer at Motion Menswear in Camberley, Surrey

“We aim to introduce new brands every season. It is a buyer’s dream to find a brand or product that sells, so we try to tailor our buying decisions to an age range and the budget they could afford. There are fewer and fewer young people coming into the shop because they have no money, so the bigger brands are less important. Having said this, styles from Diesel, for instance the Driver (£79.99), and Hudson, particularly the leather loafer (£119), are still selling.”

Dorian Holmes Co-owner and buyer at Skintrade in Newport, Isle of Wight

“There are a lack of holidaymakers here at the moment, which will hopefully pick up when the schools break up for the summer. Vans is selling well this season, particularly the Authentic Black (£47). Havaianas (from £21.99) and Nike’s Janoski (from £47) are also popular, probably because of the warm weather and their lightweight canvas materials.”

Layth Sami Manager of Cooshti in Bristol

“Trainers are selling well, particularly styles from Nike (from £59) and Air Jordan (from £75), as customers seem to love the retro feel. Having said this, our customers do not always know what they want when they come in - many just browse, so it is important to promote the smaller brands we stock too, such as Gourmet.

 

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