LâMO Strengthens Relationships with Specialty Retailers
Specialty retailers are very important to LâMO Footwear. Vice President of Sales John Pierce talks about the importance of building relationships with the specialty channel and steps the brand has taken to create efficient ordering and re-ordering systems for retailers.
In a world that’s increasingly DTC, why are specialty retailers still relevant to LâMO?
LâMO Footwear Vice President of Sales John Pierce: Specialty retailers are important to LâMO because of the rapport between the customers and the store employees. Shop employees are a trusted third-party endorsement for a good brand. Those employees know trends and product fits, and customers look to them to find their next pair of shoes. I view that as overly important because in the world of direct to consumer, there’s nobody in there to help you make your purchase. You’d be making purchases based on what you think you need rather than what you may actually need.
For this reason, we continue to partner with specialty retailers both to distribute LâMO and tell the brand’s story to consumers.
How has LâMO focused on specialty retailers in 2023?
John Pierce: I think you get better feedback from small, independent store owners because they’re on the floor. With a buyer that’s buying for big box, they’re looking at overall trends and what they’re being told. Store owners are on the floor every day gathering direct customer feedback. This valuable input on our products affects which direction we take moving forward with our line.
Many of our smaller retailers are flexible and change on a dime. They have that ability because they typically maintain smaller inventories and can restock to change with the trends.
We’ve added new styles and fast tracked them just based on feedback from our retailers and they ended up being some of our best-selling products.
“LâMO is consistently striving to put out quality products that are in line with the current trends, at the right price points,” said Lexie Hall, Buyer for Shoe Stop Inc. “Our sales representative is always seeking our feedback and ideas for improvement. Having products available to ship in a timely manner makes LâMO our ‘go-to’ for fulfilling our inventory needs in those categories.”
Is there anything LâMO is doing to make the sales and re-order process with specialty retailers efficient going into 2024?
John Pierce: With LâMO, we have open stock versus case packs as well as a centrally located warehouse facility in Kentucky, so retailers can reorder initial products with no minimums, and write initial orders based on the exact numbers needed because they’re not stuck to a case pack structure. There’s more flexibility and you can test things more easily this way. These are two things we like to highlight when talking to potential customers.
Looking to 2024, we are continuing to focus on our specialty retail partners to grow business for both their stores as well as the LâMO brand.