Thanks for your replies. I'm looking into some of the more specialist shoes for the elderly, where swollen feet can cause issues with sizing as well as those who have mobility issues.
With the children's shoes, I was hoping to target parents with who find the whole shoe shop experience really tough and tiring. Especially when you have multiple kids, all needing new school shoes etc. I might be in The minority, getting my DS all the way to the shops and then allowing his feet to be measured was awful and a waste of an otherwise great afternoon!
Hi, I'm with top 2 posters. I wouldn't use this for my children as I don't tend to go on any 'shoe shop specific' trip. My eldest child is 12 (autistic hates crowds) youngest 18 months (hates everything) So if we are out and need feet measuring. We build it into the day. I then purchase their shoes myself.
I do think this would be great for care Home's though. I have a friend who is a podiatrist and she always says it's sad to see what people have on their feet. Good luck with your venture
Hi OP, just for your research, are you aware of this for toddlers and older kids (link below hopefully)? We use them and it works well, so I guess you’d have to come up with some additional aspect to make it worth the home visit? www.clarks.co.uk/measureandfit-at-home
Thanks Ginger, that really helps. I'm finding that there is mixed reaction to the kids service and overwhelming support for mobile shoe sale for older people and those with mobility/foot conditions. Thinking I should prioritise this area and when my business is up and running I can do some local research to see if there is a market for it.
A company near me does this. I wouldn’t use it because I’d feel too obliged to buy the shoes when I might want to try Clarkes/StartRite as well. If the prices were significantly lower than Clarkes I’d be more likely to use them but they stock shoes that are £40ish. My elderly neighbour would really appreciate this though, as long as no pressure to buy on the spot.
I'm looking in to holding a clarks or start rite franchise licence so that I can stock their brand. There are lots of independents that do this. Similar price but with a more personalised and convenient service. For older people I'm looking at cosy feet, as well as stocking other brands or individual shoes that I think fit the market I'm going for.
I would use this service for my kids. But would you make enough income with the travel time involved?
What would you do if a customer didn't want to buy after a visit, as you have already given your time and travel costs. I would actually prefer a minimum amount if you don't buy any shoes for the service, as otherwise I would feel guilty
That's a good question. I know I need to build up my business and the reputation locally. I plan to smile enthusiastically, keep their details and contact them (with permission) at a later date.
With kids especially, their feet might not have grown since the last fitting. I'd rather go out and check for them, then nudge again in 6 weeks (for under 3's). By offering a more attentive service in this way, I'm hoping to build a loyal client base.
Would you be taking the shoes with you? For some kids you would need to take an awful lot of shoes - my Dd has wide feet / high instep, she may measure a certain size but the last time I bought School shoes we tried 6 shops and well over 20 pairs of shoes before we could get one to fit. I can’t see how you would be able to bring enough stock for kids shoes
We have a service like that locally. She was a childminder and also sold lovely children's shoes via a mobile service. It is bloody brilliant! She knows her clients well, she keeps a record of their sizes so when we next shop she knows what size range to bring and has never got it wrong. She knows my kids feet well and can immediately pinpoint what styles will fit them well.
After building up the business she also opened a successful shop but continues evening home visits locally to her home.
Yes I'd take shoes with me, knowing in advance their current size/fitting/current shoe they wear so that I can narrow down what stock to take. I can then have a range of styles across the range of sizes so that when we find the right fitting, I can order the right style/colour in the right size. The stockists I'm looking at do a next day delivery in orders of individual shoes so I won't need to carry a high volume of stock, just a few across the ranges in each style. It's also sale or return, so my working capital won't have to be too high.
I'd maybe have a chat with some local playgroups to see if you could do visits there, might be a way to approach multiple customers and build a client base.
Maybe also look at some SEN schools and approach PTAs/local schools to see if you could offer a service to them, they may want some kind of kick back/donation though. If doing schools maybe look at the shoe recycling charities where they take second hand shoes to send abroad, demonstrates corporate social responsiblity and bought encourage schools to use you.
Good luck with your venture have a look at molopreneur Facebook page, quite good for start up advice.
I have school mum friends who use a home visiting shoe service for their kids. Think cash rich, time poor, 1%ers with kids in independent schools. I probably fit the demographic too, but wouldn't use this service.
Thanks for your feedback everyone. I have found a few people in other areas of the country doing this but nothing hear me. I see that as a positive, proof of concept and that others can earn enough to make it worthwhile. I live in a naice area with other more affluent suburbs near by. Cash rich, time poor is definitely what I'm aiming at.
It all just sounds quite time consuming for you. I guess it depends what the mark up on a pair of shoes is as to whether you can make it worth your while. If you are selecting and ordering in new stock, travel time and the actual fitting, then some customers won't purchase.