Thursday, September 2, 2010
Jenny Oye of Oye Modern who is a frequent commentor on this blog put me in touch with Peter Pitt from HypeDC and last week I caught up with him for a coffee to talk shoe retailing.
HypeDC was founded in Mosman Sydney 12 years ago and has since grown to 30 stores. They sell short run, limited edition street shoes - think Converse, Vans, Onitsuka Tiger etc. It was fascinating talking to Peter about what has made HypeDC such a success. Here are my 3 key takeaways:
1. Keep your stock fresh
HypeDC never order the same shoe again, even if it sells incredibly well. They might order something similar, or make some small changes to the shoe, but they won't range the same shoe twice. They do this because they know their customer. Their customer wants to be unique and have limited edition shoes, and their customer loves shopping. Shopping for their customer is a fun pastime rather than a once or twice a year event. They purchase when they see something they like, not when they need a new pair of shoes. So HypeDC need to constantly have new stock to keep the store fresh and exciting for their target customer.
2. Manage your stock well
HypeDC put a lot of time and resources into inventory management. If a particular shoe is selling well in 5 stores but not in the other 25, they'll move that style of shoe from the 25 stores into the 5 where it's selling. As a particular style sells down, different sizes will be moved around so that stores selling that shoe have enough of each size in stock. This means HypeDC don't need to discount their shoes as much to get rid of old stock. It's only when they only have a few sizes left in only one store that they discount the shoes to move the last few pairs. This helps them maintain margins and keeps their brand away from discounting.
3. Hire the right people
HypeDC have a strong internal culture and if they hire someone new who isn't a good fit into the culture, team members are quick to tell management that this person doesn't fit and the managers will act on it rather than keeping someone who isn't the right fit in the business.
Some great lessons for us here as we consider opening a Shoes of Prey store.
Posted by Michael Fox at 10:36 AM