In prior writings, I shared some articles about commercial real estate, particularly retail space being repurposed for other uses, as the retail arena is changing before our eyes. On line shopping has yet to eclipse brick and mortar stores in terms of sales although the online sales percentage as a total of retail sales has grown by more than 100% in the last 10 years: Over 11 % of all sales in 2016 were on line, compared to 5.1 % 10 years ago. This is why commercial and industrial development is accelerating, as more warehouses are being built to allow on line retailers to be closer to their consumers, and meet the rigorous demand of near- immediate delivery.
On line retailers have the challenge of replicating trust, taste and touch—the three T’s– which brick and mortar retailers have the opportunity to do better with. The experience is changing, thanks to some online retailers that do what they say they will do, in terms of communication once orders are placed, consistent on time deliveries, and outstanding customer service should some be needed. If you have yet to try Wayfair, you should give it a go. They set a new high bar for the customer experience. All of these factors have me shopping on line more than ever. Including a look for some shoes.
I am thinking about going into another business. Most of innovation comes out of necessity, and often time’s invention comes out of building a better mouse trap. My brilliant idea is a combination of the two. Here it is: fashionable comfortable shoes for women! There are NO good looking shoes for women that have a modest heel, some style to them and are “in fashion.” Trust me, I have been looking for years.
Yesterday, I opened an email in my in-basket for “those “kind of shoes. I studied the photos of the sandals for what seemed like an hour. I looked at each shoe from every angle available on the website. Were they attractive? Could I see myself wearing a pair? Was the white pair better than the navy pair? Nah, they were all terrible. I was so disappointed as I am in the market for wearable shoes and I have such a limited selection.
This quest started about two years ago when I thought I had injured my right knee after participating in a burpee competition. My partner, Meagan, and I had to do 10 burpees each, resting while the other was in motion. We completed 7 rounds before time was called. So 70 burpees each. A lot! After that my knee was killing me. I went to the chiropractor and he suggested a different pair of shoes, rather than a prescription to never do burpees again. He pointed out that the knee issue was actually a function of my feet, falling arches the cause, a symptom of aging. Drats!
Off to the mall I went, and found a pair of walking shoes at Clarks. They have become my favorite pair of shoes especially for traveling. I can stand in these shoes for hours, absolutely better than my sneakers. Problem is, they look terrible with dresses and skirts. And my feet hurt, so I am wearing them anyway. I’ve upped my wardrobe game, wearing cuter dresses and skirts so no one will look at my terrible shoes.
You see the dilemma.
I met an entrepreneur. Colette Glover-Hannah, that started a shoe company out of necessity, called Hannah’s Shoe Box. Hannah’s offers fashionable shoes for girls, ages 9-14, that are age and fashion appropriate. It’s an online store and has done very, very well. I begged Colette to expand her footprint to include the other end of the age spectrum, and find me an assortment of glass slippers for every day wear.
My business idea is ripe for the picking. Who wants to put their best foot forward and join me in the venture?