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J Shoes

The footwear brand is becoming a favourite with indies thanks to strong sales and a discount on forward orders

For spring 11, casual footwear brand J Shoes introduced a 2.5% discount for stockists on all forward orders, a move that set it apart from its competitors and offered footwear independents a well-earned respite on margin.

To offset the hit to its own margin, J Shoes has introduced new, higher-priced styles for spring 11, including a women’s bamboo wooden heel sandal with ankle-lace detail, priced at £36 wholesale (pictured). It has also increased the wholesale price on eight of its ballerina flats from £18 to £20.80.

The brand celebrates its eighth anniversary this year and forecasts turnover of £1.3m for 2010 for the UK and Republic of Ireland, which is up an impressive 35% on last year.

All of the brand’s 322 UK accounts are with indies, and its target is to reach 450 accounts in the next two seasons. It has vowed to steer clear of multiple stockists.

“We’re not going to go down the road of multiples,” says European operations manager Adam Ford. “Yes, it would be nice to book great big orders but it would erode what we’ve been working on - building independent stockists.”

The brand is also drawing up plans to open more shop-in-shop concepts in independent stores after two that were installed late last year, at young fashion indie Prime in Brighton and Shrewsbury footwear boutique Prego, proved successful, with sales for July 2010 up 78% compared with the year before.

In addition, Ford says the brand is not looking to open any standalone stores. J Shoes’ first and only store, located just off Carnaby Street in London, was forced to close in 2008 after five years of trading when the rent was increased and the store became unprofitable.

Outside the UK, Ford is looking to bolster J Shoes’ European presence. The brand already has 200 independent stockists in countries including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, but it has ambitions to add to this. New international accounts will, Ford hopes, be signed up at next month’s edition of footwear trade show GDS in Düsseldorf.

For spring 11, J Shoes is offering 89 styles for women, while for men there is a 64-piece range. Wholesale prices range from £26 to £50.

Sukhy Rai, co-owner of young fashion indie Monty Smith in Cheltenham, has been impressed with the brand’s autumn 10 offer: “J Shoes has put effort into offering a more fashionable look. Its autumn range has been performing well so far.”

Essentials

2.5

Mark-up on the brand’s collection

322

Number of UK accounts

19

Number of countries J Shoes is sold in

J Shoes 01858 468123

www.jshoes.com

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