Blog: Leonie BarrieShoe sellers must up their game

Leonie Barrie | 18 February 2008

The sale of Dolcis to arch rival Stylo last week marks the end of the line for one of the UK’s best-known high street shoe chains. Bradford-based Stylo intends to rename the stores under its Barratts and PriceLess brands, and just 300 staff out of more than 1000 employed by Dolcis will keep their jobs.
 
But despite recent weeks seeing a reshuffle of the UK footwear sector – a fortnight ago footwear retailer Shoe Zone snapped up the Stead & Simpson chain – it seems there was no shortage of interest in the Dolcis business. Around 40 potential buyers made enquiries, the administrators said.

For Stylo chairman Michael Ziff, the deal will help “speed up consolidation and Dolcis is our biggest rival.”

Indeed, consolidation is a major theme in the UK shoe sector at the moment. In just-style’s analysis of the market and its recent upheaval, it is clear that footwear specialists can fight back against rising costs by expanding the size of their businesses.

There are also signs that increasing competition from fashion retailers such as New Look, Topshop and Primark, for whom footwear has been an obvious source of extra revenue and offers the convenience of enabling consumers to buy a complete outfit under one roof, is also helping to invigorate the market.
 
Low prices mean higher volumes of shoes are being sold, with estimates suggesting that the footwear market in the UK grew by 4.6% in 2007 to GBP5,484m – the footwear market's fastest rate of growth since 2003.

Until now, traditional shoe sellers just haven’t been up to the challenge, but the first signs are starting to appear that there is a future for the high street footwear specialist – although they must up their game to survive.

Will Dolcis sale kick-start the shoe sector?


BLOG

US border tax a contentious issue

Fresh from their disappointment at seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal abandoned last month with an executive order by President Donald Trump, the US apparel and footwear sector...

BLOG

Primark's sustainable cotton programme takes shape

With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...

BLOG

Trump administration starts to shake up trade

Last week we marked the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States by taking a closer look at what's at stake for the textile and apparel trade – especially his promises t...

BLOG

Likely shifts in the sourcing landscape in 2017

Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?