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starting your own shoe haberdashery

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I’m curious if those of you with established businesses can answer a few questions for me with regard to starting your own shoe store. I can understand if you don’t wish to reveal any trade secrets but I think it would be helpful to those of us that have an interest in such things.

To my knowledge there are no high-end shoe stores in town that carry any of the brands I mentioned, with the possible exception of two stores that stock Alden. The majority of stores here carry AE, Magnanni, Ferragamo, Santoni, Cole Haan, etc. The question is, would there be demand for high-end shoes in this market? I’m sure online sales would help fuel sales, but without a brick and mortar presence I don’t see this as a feasible solution, not to mention that I doubt anyone would trust buying from someone that doesn’t have a physical store front.

1. How much start-up capital is required to open your own store? Assuming you wanted to carry brands such as EG, G&G, Alden, Carmina, Saint Crispins, Corthay, etc.

2. Given that customers have a wide range of foot sizes, what should your size array consist of, and how many pairs of shoes do you stock for a given brand? Would you start off with average D width shoes and stock only a few narrow and/or wide widths?

3. I’m assuming vendors will look at how much capital you have and whether or not you have a brick and mortar store, correct?

4. Is it necessary to have a physical store first before trying to open an account with a vendor, or will vendors commit to a business relationship so long as you buy X amount of stock upfront?

5. What’s the average salary paid to a sales person?

I’m largely looking to companies like Leather Soul Hawaii, Leffot, epaulet, Sky Valet & Skoaktiebolaget for advice. How long did it take you to get off the ground? Do you have any helpful advice, such as do’s and don’ts?
post #2 of 2

Have you ever worked in or managed a shoe store?   It seems like that would be the place to start.  Actual experience learning from others in the trade.   

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