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Exclusive: Kids’ web sales are a class act for Clarks

Clarks’ experiment with selling kids’ shoes online with home delivery has paid off, with ecommerce driving sales growth over the crucial back-to-school period.

Speaking exclusively to Drapers, Clarks’ director of channels for the UK and Republic of Ireland Richard Houlton said kids’ footwear sales for the eight weeks to August 6 were up 4% on the same period in 2011. Store sales excluding online rose 2%.

Previously, parents were able to buy from Clarks’ website but had to pick up the order at a stockist so their children could be fitted by a Clarks specialist.

Clarks offers foot gauges for sale on its website and a range of how-to guides on using the gauge to measure feet and fit checking. Houlton said these features had been made available to stockists and that consumer take-up had been good.

He explained: “One of the biggest frustrations for mums was that they couldn’t buy online but we’ve introduced it in such a way as to be clear on what we believe the best way is.

“Our default position is the best thing to do is go into a shop to be measured. For those who don’t want to do that, we are offering as much help as we can.”

The retailer’s decision to allow home deliveries, revealed by Drapers in March, was criticised at the time by indie stockists.

Sizing up: overall sales during back-to-school period rose 4%

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