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Old 01-24-2010, 03:30 PM
12 posts, read 108,544 times
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I am trying to open a shoe store that sells both men and women shoes. I am looking to sell footwear from various sneaker brands to business footwear brands. However, I am having a hard time finding a shoe distributor directory of any kind. I have searched online with no success. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, I don't know but, I would really appreciate it if someone can give some suggestions on finding a wholesale shoe distributor in the NY/NJ area or even a some names of distributors????
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:45 PM
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I'd say that you are maybe a YEAR away from doing anything! Let's face it, the fact that you don't even know where to buy your inventory means that you have a long way to go. I'd suggest getting a JOB in the trade, otherwise you'll never know what's what in the trade.

Actually here are some ideas;

1. Find and subscribe to any and all trade journals, Cahners and a couple of other companies publish journals for EVERY industry.

2. Through those journals start attending local, regional and national trade shows.

3. Learn who's who in the trade.

4. Find our how many "steps" there are in the "normal" distribution chain.

5. Learn what the REAL PRICES are. If you think it's something published on a price sheet, or online YOU WILL BE OVERPAYING FOR YOUR INVENTORY. The real deal is going to be some discount from the "price sheet.

Armed with this and a MINIMUM OF ONE YEAR working in the trade you should be ready to consider jumping in on your own. And that is assuming that you are a real quick study.

BTW, why reinvent the wheel. There are some established outlets, SOMEWHERE that have a tired, disgusted or just ready to call it a day owner, or the widow of a late owner. That's who you should be going to work for with a plan to buy him/her out in a year or so. That's how I bought my first company, in a trade I had no interest in until I got into it.

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Old 01-25-2010, 04:08 PM
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betterday05, I DM you info on 2 trade events in February to be held in NYC and LV.
Here is a story that will interest many. So don't talk yourself out of doing something before you even try.

The Robeez Story

The First Step
It was 1994. Sandra Wilson, a young wife and mother, was downsized out of her airline job. Wishing to spend more time with her 18-month old son Robert, Sandra saw this as an opportunity to start her own home-based business. For inspiration, she looked to her son’s tiny feet.

Sandra set out to handcraft a pair of brightly colored, soft-soled leather shoes for young Robert. She was pleased to discover that the shoes seemed to improve his balance, because the soft soles allowed him to “feel” the floor while he toddled about. Sandra decided to name the shoes after her son. “Robeez” shoes were born.

Growing Strong
To keep up with the booming sales, Sandra hired her first sales representative in March 1995 and by May 1997, Robeez was online. The company moved out of Sandra’s basement in May 1999 and into their first commercial space. Since then, the company has relocated and expanded into larger premises to accommodate the rapidly expanding operations.

In August 2001, sales topped $1.2 million Canadian and doubled by the following year. Today, sales surpass the $15 million mark and continue to grow at an outstanding pace.

In 2003, Sandra established the Robeez Heart & Sole program, which donates much-needed children’s footwear to non-profit societies and charities throughout the world.

Robeez Footwear Today

Sandra could not have predicted the phenomenal success the company has enjoyed. Today, Robeez is recognized as the world’s leading manufacturer of soft-soled leather footwear for newborns to four-year-olds. Robeez Footwear now has close to 400 employees and sells shoes in over 4,500 stores in countries throughout North America, Europe, Australia and parts of Asia.

The company carries over 70 designs of shoes and, in 2004, introduced their newest line of footwear for all-season warmth – fleece-lined Booties.

From the very first pair of shoes Sandra lovingly crafted, she did so with a caring ethic, developing a quality product that put her child first. Today, that same ethic is upheld in every pair of Robeez footwear and in all aspects of the company.

In September 2006, Robeez was acquired by Stride Rite Corporation, which is home to a portfolio of great footwear brands. More information on the publicly held Stride Rite Corporation (NYSE: SRR) can be found at www.strideritecorp.com

urladdress: robeez.ca/en-us/about/sandra.htm?PriceCat=1&Lang=EN-US

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Old 01-25-2010, 09:00 PM
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Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it. I am going to start looking into the trade shows. If you have any other suggestions, I'm all ears.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:30 PM
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My family and I love to shop in the US, such as the premium outlets in Seattle
Seattle Premium Outlets - Designer Outlet Stores & Map

where Florsheim (made in India), Clarks (Made in England) and other quality leather shoes are less than USD50 a pair. Good bargains at Etienne Aigner too. How the US retailers do it, is a big mystery to me. Anyway I don't deal with consumer products.
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:37 PM
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message me if you want some possible wholesale sources for shoes
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:54 PM
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If you are openig a independent shpow sore you need to stick to the top brands not carried by teh chians.Also carry a line of top brand work and casual boots . Trying to out price the chians on the cheaper brands is crazy and the teenis shoes like nkie and others are sold almost evrywhere now days. good Luck;I really always look for a independent carrying quilty shoes as they are worth the price.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:44 PM
Location: Wyoming
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I purchased and for 6-7 years ran a store as you describe -- good and excellent quality shoes for men, women and children. Major brands were usually bought directly from the factory/U.S. distributor.

Every metropolitan area will have a major spring/summer show about this time (you've probably missed it), and a fall/winter show in... uhhhh... I'm thinking July or August.

But if I was you, I'd take GolfGod's advice -- particularly the part about working at a shoe store for awhile before jumping in. I jumped in. I bought one from a small chain. I knew the owner and had done business with him. He had built the store for a son who wasn't quite ready to grow up, and he finally gave up on it. They helped me a little with getting it started and remained ready to help throughout the time I owned the store.

I had co-owned and managed a very successful multi-million-dollar business for several years and figured I could run any small business just fine. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy -- not nearly as easy as the business that was 20-times bigger. There's a lot to know about buying shoes that will sell -- getting the right number of all the sizes, the right colors, right styles, right brands, right number of dress shoes, work shoes, casual shoes for men, women and (if you carry them) children. There's a LOT to it! And you can't trust the salesmen!!! They'll oversell every chance they get.

I finally closed the store down. I wasn't losing money, just my time. I figured I could do as well playing golf.

Gotta go for now. Just don't make the mistake of jumping in before you know what you're doing. Pick a good independent and learn the business before you jump. Good luck.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:30 AM
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You can also contact the company that owns the brands of shoes\sneaker you want to sell. I looked into this a while ago and contacted a (major) brand via email from their website. Here was their reply to me.

Dear my name,

Thank you for choosing (brand sneaker) as a potential brand in your store. May you provide your location so we may provide for you the number to your local sales representative.


Brand rep name.
brand.com Customer Service

They replied same day BTW
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:49 AM
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Dear Betterday05,
Good luck to you!
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