Why Is There Never Shoes In My Size?
Our Inverness Shoe Shop Manager Nikki Munro explains why…
Have you ever gone shoe shopping, walked into a shoe shop and asked the sales advisor for a certain style of shoe in your size, and then felt there wasn’t much of a selection? Well, hopefully you haven’t come across this much in our shoe shops but if you have, then please read on for more information
Keep reading to find out more!
Customer Service with Shoes
The way that our stores are set up, our team of helpful employees are there to help you find shoes to suit your needs rather than a ‘self-service’ approach. We like speaking to people and we love conquering the challenge of finding just the right pair of shoes based on just a few snippets of information. What generally happens is:
Customer comes in
Our team converse with the customer
Customer relays specific information on what they require
Team member heads off to the stockroom to search and find perfect shoes
Customer tries on shoes selected (sometimes we go back and forth to get right style/size/fitting)
Lovely customer buys shoes = everyone happy ?
But, sometimes we may not have the exact style or colour in the exact size that you are looking for when shoe shopping. This is not on purpose – we want all our customers to leave the store satisfied! There are some reasons why we cannot avoid this sometimes. But if we are missing the item in our own store, we do offer an instore order service through our website, or you can order directly from our website. We have set up our website specifically to ensure it is easy to use between our customers and our stores.
Why Is My Size Missing?
The main factor, is that we are in between seasons so our spring/summer stock is no longer available to buy from our suppliers but the autumn/winter stock is not quite ready yet and hasn’t been delivered or vice versa. Therefore, we are relying on the stock that was available from the suppliers at the time of our last orders/deliveries – within this there may be ‘best sellers’ which we just cannot get enough stock of and we may eventually run out of sizes in. So, if you want to get the best selection of stock for spring/summer seasonal items then the best time for shoe shopping would be mid-March to May. For autumn/winter products, the best selection available would be mid-August through to October.
Another important aspect is the buying season in the footwear trade – our buyers are required to have the order away to our suppliers 4-6 months in advance of the future season. For example, in July/August our buyers are browsing and selecting the spring/summer range.
• How do you know what to buy?
• How do you know what sizes to buy?
• Are these shoes coming up a big fit or small fit?
• What colour are our customers going to buy?
• How much can we spend?
• How many pairs of shoes do we need to have in stock in total?
There are lots more other aspects to consider when buyers are trying to purchase the next seasons stock but the list above are just the first few that come to mind! The future of the company hinges on the success of each season – if our buyers overbuy, then we have too much stock and struggle to run our stores efficiently. Yet, if we underbuy then there may not be enough stock to last the season which can lead to unsatisfied customers which we don’t want! So, it is a very fine balance trying to buy the right type and amount of stock.
When buying stock for the season ahead, we can be restricted by suppliers in the size ranges we can buy. Some systems are set up so that we can only buy specific packs in 6, 9 or 12 pairs – with only the 12-pair pack offering a size 3 or size 8 possibly, which in turn means unfortunately we cannot afford to buy every single style in a 12-pair pack. This can be why your local store may not have every style we stock in every size. What we do try to do though, is between our shops we try to buy a few different packs so that between the shops, there will be every size we can buy offered. It just may not be in your local store, but we can order it in for you.
Now, you may be thinking ‘why don’t they just buy more of every size?’- Am I right? Well, we can only order what we can get a hold of from our suppliers, if they don’t have any certain sizes then we cannot get them from that company so we will try to get more of something else from another supplier, and we will try another supplier, and another until we have exhausted all options. All of the managers recognize what each store requires, for some shops, ladies size 7/8s are very popular so some these shops will hold a higher volume in these sizes. For other shops, there is more call for size 3’s and 4’s so these stores will have a higher volume of stock available in these sizes.
(Trust me when I say, if any store is low on any stock, we badger Mr Begg until we get more!)
What is My Shoe Size?
A very important factor is also, what is your size? A huge part of our staff training here at Begg Shoes is trying on every style and brand so that we know how all the shoes fit and in turn we can then pass on our knowledge and findings to our customers. There are some shoes that we know are a big fit and most customers will drop down at least a half size, if not a whole size, for the shoes to fit. So, don’t be alarmed if the shoe has a different number on the sole than you would normally buy – if it fit, it fits, ignore the number! Pretty much what I do when clothes shopping is ignore the size on the label and buy what fits you and is comfortable. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the shoe, it just means the last (foot shape that the shoe is based on) is a more generous fit, or a small fit depending on the make. If we don’t have the shoes you are looking for in your perceived size, try on what we have instead you might be surprised! Many of our customers leave the store happy with what they have bought, and it isn’t usually the shoes drew them into the store, its usually another pair we have taken from the stockroom.