Purchasing a selection of specialty shoes for a retail shop, such as large and wide women’s shoes, requires a bit of footwork. Although most retail stores carry traditional shoes sizes, implementing a specialty shoe section will most likely attract new clientele and increase foot traffic and sales. It is important to research which shoe silhouettes are produced in large sizes by branded and non-branded shoe manufacturers. Certain styles are made into specific large and wide size categories. By choosing the types of silhouettes for the shop such as trendy, evening or casual, the search for wholesalers will narrow.
Make a list of the type of large or wide shoes you want to carry in your store. For instance, if your store is geared toward fashion trends, you will most likely carry high-heels, mules, ballerina flats and ankle booties for fall. This will narrow your search for specific brands and non-branded shoes. For instance, most designer brands do not offer wide shoes such as size EEE (3E) and EEEE (4E) or extra-wide (W).
Conduct an Internet search on ApparelSearch.com as well as WholesaleDistributorNet.com for women’s wide feet and large size shoe wholesalers, such as sizes 11 though 15 or wide shoes, such as EEE(3E) . If specific brands are not listed, you will have to conduct independent searches for each brand. The designer’s corporate office address and contact information, as well as showroom sales representative, will be listed.
Read through the company descriptions to ensure the wholesalers carry the type of shoes you want to carry. For example, designers such as Ed Hardy sell size 10 women’s trendy sneakers, but do not manufacture a larger size. Brands such as Nine West, Blowfish, Poetic License, Ciao Bella and Australia Love Collective manufacture specific styles in sizes 11 through 15. Designers such as Josef Seibel make extra wide shoes that have more room than the large sizes.
Call the designer showrooms directly and schedule an appointment to review the large size collection. It is important to mention the type of collection you want to view to have the correct salesperson assigned to your account. Keep in mind that you will also have to be approved as a new vendor for specific designer brands prior to receiving any information regarding pricing, shoe type or style, as well as an appointment.
Ask the purchase minimum quantity requirements. Large and wide shoes are specially made and each style will most likely have a different purchase requirement depending on the complexity of the manufacturing. Always keep in mind that certain designer brands require large quantity purchases, which will most likely cause severe financial strain on a small business without pre-order sales. As an option, prepare a list of questions prior to attending the meeting.
Discuss the return policy in the event that certain sizes, such as the extra wide or large sizes, do not sell. Certain brands will not allow you to return the shoes. Know your target market to narrow your purchase.