Some people can’t get enough shoes, from sandals to high heels, cowboy boots, running shoes or comfy house slippers. Transform a love of shoes into profit by opening a shoe business. Creating a simple checklist of the supplies needed for a shoe business helps entrepreneurs hit the ground running. Needs may vary depending on shoe store type, but a general overview will ensure that basic supply requirements are met.
Customers will be attracted to well-presented shoes, so invest in different types of displays for the shoe business. Purchase higher-quality, aesthetically pleasing displays to grace storefront windows and attract customers. In the store, tall shelving units efficiently display shoeboxes with small extended platforms for displaying shoes outside of their boxes; this helps feature new or popular shoes. Walk-up displays scattered throughout the stores help steer customer traffic and can feature seasonal items, such as boots during winter or flip flops during summer. You’ll also want store signage to let customers know your store name and hours of operation.
Shoe businesses require supplies geared toward ensuring customer comfort. This includes seating areas for sitting down while slipping on potential shoe purchases and full-length and foot-level mirrors for inspecting appearance. Measuring tools help determine shoe size; small nylon booties act as thin socks or stockings when customers want to try on certain types of shoes (for example, calf-fitting boots or high heels) without their bulky street socks.
Bags help customers transport multiple shoe purchases. Market your shoe business’ particular brand by purchasing packaging supplies including branded bags or tissue paper. Upscale shoe stores can help reinforce a glamorous image through elegant bags with satin handles; budget shoe businesses can get by with basic plastic bags. Gift wrapping may be available for customers purchasing shoes as gifts.
Shoe businesses can upsell to customers by offering retail items including shoe horns, shoe trees, laces, socks and nylons. Supply your store with retail items needed to care for shoes, including show polish, cleaning cream or shoe brushes.
Like any business, shoe businesses require basic office necessities. Computers assist with ordering, while point-of-sale software facilitates smooth business transactions. Security cameras ensure that customers don’t make off with pricey shoes without paying. Phones, fax machines and scanners for price tag-reading will also be needed. Establishing your inventory digitally helps track whether shoes are priced effectively, when shoe inventories are running low for popular items or which shoes aren’t selling.
Morgan Rush is a California journalist specializing in news, business writing, fitness and travel. He's written for numerous publications at the national, state and local level, including newspapers, magazines and websites. Rush holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego.