I recently visited the Falkland Islands, and inevitably (of course) visited its only shoe shop. It is tiny, jumbled and has an unconventional range of stock.
Contrast this (dare I say it) with the sophisticated footwear shops in Argentina where the standard of visual merchandising is exceptionally good and you realise how relatively easy it can be to convert jumbled stock into an eye-catching display.
Putting this into a UK context, there is the additional pressure of shop owners (including the main concessions) to maintain a strong identity while giving prominence to the brands being stocked. It’s hard enough for brands to be represented in both indies and department stores, but even harder to get these outlets to feature their point-of-sale and marketing support kits.
With rumours of the impending demise of a number of high-profile shoe retailers, this commitment to maintaining the highest standards in brand selection and presentation becomes even more important.
Suppliers of footwear are always keen to work with retailers to achieve this but with buying power restricted to a relatively few retailers, this is becoming ever more difficult.
While this may not be a problem in the Falklands with its unique situation, it certainly is in the UK.
- Richard Kottler, Chief executive of the British Footwear Association