Interview with Danny (Manager) at Foot Asylum, Nottingham (Julia)

  • Danny has been at Foot Asylum for 5 months, but he also has experience at JD, Decathlon and Sports Direct (Brent Cross store, took 5 times as much as the Nottingham Foot Asylum store)
  • Foot Asylum do not stock New Balance but may do one day in the future
  • They do not have a core customer – their customers range from 14 year olds to 40 year olds – however, certain lines sell better with certain consumers e.g.  Voi Clothing with people from an Asian background, as it was set up by an Asian man
  • When recommending brands to a customer, the staff base their recommendations on the style of the customer e.g. if they’re wearing Converse hi-tops they suggest similar brands and styles
  • Danny was unaware that New Balance sold lifestyle trainers; his view was that they’re competing in a highly competitive market with other more established brands and not offering something unique. He felt that to a consumer who is only aware of their performance trainers, the lifestyle trainers may seem an odd range i.e. that New Balance are operating outside of their area of knowledge
  • Foot Asylum only stocks full sizes, however, Danny said ‘If a brand stocks half sizes and diferent widths, youre twice as likely to sell them’
  • Customers will go into the shop with an idea of what they want and the staff will push brands that the customer is already a fan of
  • Decathlon had a policy of getting customers to try something new
  • Toms are a big seller, particularly with students who wear chinos – their one style sells well
  • The ‘N’ works for New Balance just like the Nike swoosh works for them
  • The N-Lock System is New Balance’s USP (see diagram below) – the way the laces are integrated into the shoe makes them fit better than other shoes, as when you do the laces, you’re not just pulling from the side of the tongues; you’re pulling up from under the shoe, all the way up the sides and to the top. Danny found this to be a massive selling point for New Balance.
  • Adidas in their bestseller, then Vans, then Fred Perry
  • Some stores don’t have any VM staff, but some have specifically trained VM staff
  • Staff training is essential to make staff engage with the brand- if the have the information, they will undoubtedly use it. You need to get the customers interested by telling them something new. At the moment ony Fit Flop come in to talk to them about their products.
  • So farFoot Asylum have only collaborated with Converse (or so Danny knew) but his view was that collaborations and limited editions that are exclusive to  retailer will encourage the retailer to go the extra mile for the brand and push their products harder.

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