I wrote a post this past summer asserting that sneaker consignment stores had found themselves in a very precarious place, see link below.
And this is just a continuation of what I said in the month of June. People don’t realize that big corporations and brands actually hire psychologists to work for them. And many may wonder why would a psychologist be working for a sneaker brand? Well think about it, their main job is to study the behavior of the consumer- what causes people to buy in frenzy? How do you retain a customer? Questions such as these are the ones psychologists have to try to answer in order for a brand to thrive. And if you’ve been following what Nike has been doing lately, their main focus has been the DTC ( Direct To Consumer) campaign. Basically the brand is doing away with the wholesale distribution channel and going straight to the customer. Now if the leading brand is catering to the consumer, don’t you think as a consignment shop you need to pause and think about the implications of this? This is my small attempt at giving you a bit of warning.
Shopping malls were the places to be and hang out in the early 2000’s; people enjoyed going out shopping and stores like Footlocker, Champs, Footaction, Finishline were frequently visited. I remember going out with my friends, having no plans to buy any shoes and the minute I visited the mall, I ended up impulsively making purchases I regretted later. Gone are those days now; shopping malls are only busy in the holiday season and even then the traffic is still manageable. I’m saying all that to say that people no longer go out shopping in the mall, it is becoming a thing of the past. With the internet at our finger tips, we can basically gather information about anything we want prior to making our purchase. And sneakers aren’t any different; with places like instagram, facebook, youtube and twitter, the consumer is flooded with so much information that he/she needs not to go the mall for any reason.
there are pages, forums and websites for release date, location, basically whatever information you need about any shoe is available online
So the consumer’s appetite is satisfied online so there is no need to visit the mall. Consequently, many brands have now shifted their focus and and trying desperately to give the consumer an unforgettable experience in order to retain him/her. Even places like Footlocker and Champs barely have any traffic. Let me bring this close to home; my local mall, the FSK mall had three major sneaker stores ( Footlocker, Finishline and Sportszone) and all but one is still operative and it is Footlocker. Sportszone was the worst of all three, the store layout was terrible ( lighting was awful), they barely had any shoes on the shelves. I visited that store maybe once every month, they gave me no reason to come back and sneaker consignment shops aren’t any different, and the worst thing is their shoes are overpriced.
If you run a consignment shop , you’re in jeopardy unless you can compete with the retail store prices ( basically your prices have to be 20 to 30% lower than the retail store prices). The only way you can thrive as a consignment shop is if you carry very limited ( hard to get) sneakers which is darn near impossible these days. And people just won’t come to your store on their own; I’ve seen many shops with apparel and sneaker accessories, which in themselves are a good thing but they aren’t enough to keep people coming. Sneakers aren’t a necessity like food is a necessity so what can a store do to maintain a steady traffic?
Like I said in the title, they can take a look at the Del Toro’s New Concept Shop and create a similar model. What is the Del Toro’s concept shop?
“We are making significant efforts to reinforce our brand and offering,” founder Matthew Chevallard said. “My whole intent is revitalizing and rejuvenating the concept of retail. Right now, the idea is for the concept shops to be nimble and flexible. We want to open [a store] when it makes sense, close when it doesn’t, rinse and repeat.”
the label’s fall ’17 line, “Back to Our Roots,” is a celebration of Del Toro’s Italian heritage and Chevallard’s hometown of Torino. The New York boutique amps up the experience by featuring Regina’s Grocery, an authentic Italian-style café and market serving sandwiches and espresso.
I hope you can see where i’m going with this, Del Toro is a shoe store , yet it offers “FOOD”. And whem I say FOOD, i’m talking about the kind that makes you come back every day ( coffee, sandwiches,etc..). They have an authentic Italian-style cafe inside the store to give you a perpetual experience you’ll not find anywhere else.
I’ll stop here ant let you marinate on it and see how you can apply something similar in your own consignment shop.