Footwear giant Clarks has defended the home-delivery option for its kids’ footwear collections as an additional channel through which consumers can access the product.
In March, Drapers revealed that Clarks would allow customers to order kids’ footwear directly to their homes, without the need to visit a store for fitting. The move prompted a backlash from Clarks’ independent stockists, who were concerned it will undermine the service element of kids’ shoe-fitting and cannibalise their business.
John Jardine, group director of children’s product at Clarks, told Drapers that while he understands indies’ concerns, he does not believe it will negatively affect stockists.
He said: “We are not promoting this service to our end consumers in any way and the default on the website will always be for delivery to store. This is simply about giving our end consumers the option to have the shoes delivered to their home if they wish.”
Jardine said Clarks would offer consumers the option of buying a gauge to measure kids’ feet at home. He also said the move meant stockists would be able to sell and deliver Clarks’ kids’ footwear via their own sites – at present purchases must be collected in-store.
The updated kids’ section of the Clarks website will launch on May 17.