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Looking to open a shoe shop

(35 Posts)
DailyMailareDicks Sun 21-Jan-18 12:20:57

Where I live there are a lot of independent traders on the higher street and everyone is really supportive of local businesses. There is no shoe shop, and this often gets mentioned. We have a very large shopping centre 2 miles away that has all the high street names.

If I opened a shoe shop, I'd need to sell 70 pairs of shoes a month to cover the commercial rent. I've no idea how many shoes I could sell, it's so hard to measure demand.

If there was a local shoe shop, specialising in children's shoes, would you buy from them or go straight to the shopping centre? Intend to promote personalised service and be very child friendly. TIA

OP’s posts: |
reallyreallyreallytired Sun 21-Jan-18 12:24:29

You want to be known as the shop that fits shoes well and stocks a range of makes so for instance some of the Italian ranges are better for thin fittings etc could be fab. People would come a distance for good fitting bit you will find it’s seasonal...what about specialising in runnng shoes too?

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 21-Jan-18 12:27:19

How many would you need to sell on top of that to pay wages and utility and council tax bills?

What about if you have a sale? Surely you'd have to sell twice as many?

I think that if there's a wide choice just two miles away, you'd really, really struggle to sell 70 pairs of shoes per week. For one thing children's shoes are very rarely sold on a weekday as they are in nursery/school. Very few people go shoe shopping after school has shut for the day.

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 21-Jan-18 12:28:02

Do you have any experience of buying and selling shoes?

CremeFresh Sun 21-Jan-18 12:29:21

We have an independent children's shoe shop , it's very old fashioned but everyone goes there .

DailyMailareDicks Sun 21-Jan-18 12:45:18

I've limited retail experience. I was thinking of promoting after school fittings so parents don't need to go shopping for shoes at the weekend when they could be doing family things. It's a naice area, many SAHMs and high earners, great schools, private prep and Grammar as well as outstanding state schools within the town boundaries. I get there will be a big seasonal push in August/Sept. I would run the shop myself so not looking at having to pay anyone else initially.

Prices would not necessarily be cheaper than large shopping centre but not any more expensive. Was hoping the 'personal on your doorstep' proposition would pull in the customers.

OP’s posts: |
MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 21-Jan-18 13:08:33

Sorry, OP, but I think you're not thinking this through.

You wouldn't have any other staff? So who is looking after the till while you are in the stock room? Who is there while you go to the loo? What if you are off sick?

In the high street you are dealing with stores who buy huge quantities from suppliers at a massive discount. Think of Clarks - they don't buy for an individual shop - the head office will be buying for all of the Clarks shops. There is no way on this earth you can match those prices.

And the problem with 'on your doorstep' is that only two miles away there is a lot more choice. You won't be able to stock every shoe in every size and colour multiple times - I doubt you'd even be able to return them, so what would you do if they didn't sell?

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 21-Jan-18 13:11:14

Sorry to sound negative but you could be making an expensive mistake. You say you'd target after-school sales, yet you'd be the only person working in the shop. What if five families came in? That would be eg ten children all wanting shoes. And just you working there. Any shop should be able to deal with five customers at a time, but when you're buying shoes you can easily spend ten minutes on choosing and fitting shoes. How could you physically do that? And think how much stock you'd have to have - could you afford that?

user1471546359 Sun 21-Jan-18 13:16:16

I went to a lovely independent shoe shop yesterday to get some shoes for my daughter who has very small thin feet so Clarks were no good. It was a lovely experience, the shoes were very cute and I bought some - but they were so expensive I’m not sure I would buy from there unless I had to! So really depends on the area as to whether enough people are happy to drop £40-50 on a pair of shoes that will fit for a very short period of time...!

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Sun 21-Jan-18 13:23:40

we have an independent childrens shoe shop in our (hardly any chain shops) town - they manage because we have several private schools with ridiculous uniforms that they stock the shoes for (so eg grey girls shoes with a t bar, that kind of thing). But they also have childrens clothes and ballet leotards, and may also do cubs and brownie uniform.

I only shopped there because one DD had very narrow feet and the likes of Clarks didn't fit.

However, there's a specialist childrens shoe shop in a nearby town which seems to do pretty well, the last time we tried there, they had a "make an appointment in advance" system which seemed to minimise the August crowds a bit.

But, now, I know what size and style of school shoe fits DD (and that she'll wear) so I go online, cos it's much cheaper.

allegretto Sun 21-Jan-18 13:27:26

Our local shoe shop is like this and it always seems busy. Just one woman runs it - if she needs to go to the loo she shuts for 5 minutes - not a problem!

DailyMailareDicks Sun 21-Jan-18 16:20:11

Thanks for feedback everyone. Perhaps I would need to cater for school uniform type sales as well. We already have a few dance/ballet clothes shops. The premises I'm looking to take over is actually a dance clothing shop. Not financially viable anymore so I think I should steer clear of that.

Maybe it should be for adults as well as kids. We have quite a large retirement community and I know of a brand specialising in very wide shoes for swollen feet. Not sure how I could mix the two target audiences though!!

OP’s posts: |
nancy75 Sun 21-Jan-18 16:27:39

I worked for a large shoe retailer for some years, the idea of running the shop totally in your own is not great, you really need someone to cover the shop floor while the other person goes to the stock room ( unless you are happy with very high % stock loss)
Almost all children’s shoes are sold at 3 key times during the year, xmas, Easter & Aug/Sept. you would struggle with August back to school in a shop on your own & I think would struggle to sell enough outside of these times.

Shantotto Sun 21-Jan-18 16:38:09

If you're in a naice area there's definitely a market for shoe brands that aren't stocked in big shopping centres.

I used to live near a very fancy children's boutique and they did a roaring trade - not just on weekends. They stocked Bobux, Geox, Hummel trainers etc. However they also stocked cool kid's interior stuff, and a few nice toys / arty books. Oh and crazy expensive gorgeous clothes from scandi and uk brands.

I know this is a bit more than you were thinking but maybe expanding your range just a little could be good? This shop only ever had a handful of things in a few sizes each.

Shantotto Sun 21-Jan-18 16:38:24

If you're in a naice area there's definitely a market for shoe brands that aren't stocked in big shopping centres.

I used to live near a very fancy children's boutique and they did a roaring trade - not just on weekends. They stocked Bobux, Geox, Hummel trainers etc. However they also stocked cool kid's interior stuff, and a few nice toys / arty books. Oh and crazy expensive gorgeous clothes from scandi and uk brands.

I know this is a bit more than you were thinking but maybe expanding your range just a little could be good? This shop only ever had a handful of things in a few sizes each.

allegretto Sun 21-Jan-18 16:43:09

you really need someone to cover the shop floor while the other person goes to the stock room

Or not have the stock room and have all the stock on shelves in the shop - which is what happens in the shop I know.

nancy75 Sun 21-Jan-18 17:05:43

All the stick on shelves & no stockroom with one person covering the shop? I dread to think what their stock loss is like.

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 21-Jan-18 17:19:48

Maybe think about why Clarks doesn't open a shop there?

Shantotto Sun 21-Jan-18 17:36:38

Well the shop is likely to be quite small and the boxes on high shelving.

Clark's probably hasn't opened because they'll have a big store a couple of miles away and why waste their time on what's likely to be a small shop on a High St?

Also there's more to shoes than Clarks! Not everybody wants shoes from there. Some of the brands I like are hard to get hold of, I loved having an independent stocking them! I buy shoes same price or just very slightly more expensive but are in my opinion better and much nicer. There's definitely a market for these things.

nancy75 Sun 21-Jan-18 18:15:01

Shantotto, have you ever worked in a shop? While you are concentrating on fitting 1 pair of child’s shoes you can easily lose £££ worth of stock if you have it all on the shop floor ( unless the op has eyes in the back of her head )

allegretto Sun 21-Jan-18 18:15:45

If you want to combine it with something - maybe a cobbler! They seem to be hard to find. You could use the shop as a drop off point and get someone to do the cobbling somewhere else - just an idea!

allegretto Sun 21-Jan-18 18:17:14

Most of the shops where I live only have one person working in them at a time (I'm abroad). Not sure how they manage while everyone here thinks it would be a big problem!

VivaLeBeaver Sun 21-Jan-18 18:19:37

An ex colleague of mine set up a shoe shop, adults not kids, but she works on her own so it’s possible. I guess it’s just trust (and cctv) that when she needs to go in the stock room to get another size you don’t run off with an arm full of shoes. I’m sure the till locks.

There’s an independent shoe shop in town which does mix kids shoes and “older lady” shoes. One side of the shop is kids, other side is slip on sensible flat black heaven. Seating in the middle. Has been running for decades.

Mosaic123 Sun 21-Jan-18 18:19:59

This may be of interest:

We have a small children's shop near us. It's two doors from Sainsburys where you can park for free for two hours.

It also sells lovely traditional toys such as wooden blocks and craft kits for children. Also baby clothes and bits. The kind you'd buy as a gift.

They advertise in the local free paper and sometimes include a 10% off voucher.

They seem to do well. It's a tiny shop but lovely. It's been going for about 10 years.

It's a fairly wealthy area with a huge shopping centre about 15 mins away on the Tube (which is 8 mins walk from this little shop).

Mosaic123 Sun 21-Jan-18 18:20:57

Sorry, they sell Start-rite (fitted) and some other shoe and boot brands for kids, the luxury kinds.

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