5 Unique Ways to Manage Your Footwear Retail Chain
Footwear retailers have a few special considerations that other retail store chains do not contend with. Size selections alone are enough to drive a retail store manager or chain operations manager insane. Below are 5 unique aspects to running a footwear retail operation and how you can do it more efficiently.
- Size analysis – Let’s face it, people are picky about the shoes they wear. Not only are they picky about the style of shoes that go on their feet, but they’re picky about manufacturer, color, and specific features such as high heels and insoles. To top it off, size is a consideration that neither the footwear customer nor you can control. Everyone needs a size, and the retailer’s job is to ensure that you have all the sizes that customers may request. That requires robust and intelligent size analysis tools.
- Replenishment and allocation – When it comes to replenishing your merchandise, you need a system that makes it easy. You need to be able to automatically replenish supplies as they get low, and that means establishing rules for your replenishment cycles–right down to size. Merchandise allocation is also important. If particular stores sell more of a certain style or manufacturer, they may want more of that particular SKU. You need tools to help you perform advanced replenishment and allocation functions.
- Inventory management – Managing your inventory is about more than allocation and replenishment. It also involves tracking each product from ordering to the point of sale. You should know where every single product is at all times, even while in delivery and midway between store transfers.
- Performance management – If your sales people earn even a portion of their wages on commission, you need a way to track their sales and earnings. You also need a robust system for tracking hours worked so that you can better plan your peak production times.
- Seasonal assortments – Certain shoes sell better at Easter. Your store sales should increase at Christmas. And some manufacturers have different styles for winter and summer. Make sure you have the right assortment of products for each season.
Footwear retailing has its challenges. With the right operational software, you can manage them all.