Comfort footwear brand Ecco is wielding the axe over its stockist base for the second time in 14 months.
Ecco has written to a number of long-standing independent accounts to say it will no longer supply them from next year. The distribution shake-up is part of Ecco’s plans to reposition itself as a more trend-led brand in the UK market.
Ecco has also issued stringent guidelines for its stockists in terms of minimum order levels. Retailers must commit to buying 500 pairs of shoes a year – a minimum of 250 pairs per season. A minimum of 20 SKUs per season is also required and there are new guidelines that demand that Ecco should be prominently displayed in high traffic areas in store.
The review will encompass all of the brand’s 250 UK stockists. An Ecco spokesman said it would work on an account-by-account basis and declined to comment on the number of accounts likely to be affected.
In a statement to Drapers, Ecco said: “As part of our ongoing strategy to reposition the Ecco brand in the UK in order to target and attract new consumer groups, we have undertaken a full review of our current distribution network.”
In July last year the brand carried out a similar shake-up of its account base in its first step towards targeting a younger, more fashion-forward customer.
One Ecco stockist who has been told he is not part of the future of the brand said: “We’ve dealt with Ecco for more than 15 years and always pay on the nose. This is despicable. You would have thought that with trade being so tough they wouldn’t be so dogmatic.”