South Australian Shoe Retailer Spend-less Shoes to Open 40 More Stores in Three Years
27.05.2013 1305 views
There are a hundred million reasons for Port Adelaide-based national retailer Spend-less Shoes to open 40 more stores in the next two-three years, says founder John Charlton. It's the annual turnover figure that keeps 800 Australians across all company-owned 164 stores in jobs within the business.
The model is simple - importing shoes from China and offering it on a "conveniently-located, low-price availability basis". "Our constantly ticking scoreboard tells us we've got it right," he said. The business, which expanded from one store, in Jetty Rd in Glenelg 25 years ago has overcome economic conditions by "being smart about being thrifty".
Owning all the stores helped ensure flexibility and control over costs and pricing and having an online presence covers all bases. An in-house design team scouts the world for inspiration to ensure trends and styles. "The shoes business is still bricks and mortar. Everyone wants to buy a shoe that fits and women buy most of them," Mr Charlton said. "Industry research tells us women buy seven pairs of shoes per year - we want them to double that.".
"We want all women - including low-income earners and single mums - to do that," Mr Charlton said. He is not far off the mark with most women not having an exact count of how many shoes they own or buy in a year - only about how much fun it was buying them.
A 2012 IBSWorld industry report on shoe retailing in Australia late last year found teenage girls and young working women tend to spend much of their income on shoes, although preference is skewed towards quantity rather than quality.
"This distinction in gender is largely a function of fashion, the emotional benefits attached to shopping and aesthetic motivations with regard to style," the report said. Special sales are being run across Spend-less stores this week to mark celebrations.