UK footwear retailer Shoe Zone has reported positive results for the latest half-year, citing its omnichannel strategy as a key factor in its recovery from the impact of the pandemic. It saw a 73% increase in revenue to £69.9m, with store revenue reaching £58.1m and digital revenue at £11.8m, which had been affected by lockdowns the previous year. The company also reported a profit before tax of £3.1m, a significant improvement from the previous year’s loss.

One contributing factor to Shoe Zone’s positive performance was its ability to trade for the full 26 weeks, compared to just 10 weeks in the same period the previous year. The company’s efforts to reshape its store estate also yielded positive results. It currently has 45 “Big Box” stores, 35 “Hybrid” stores, and 308 “Original” stores. Shoe Zone closed down 30 underperforming stores and opened eight new Hybrid formats, aligning its store chain with its desired strategy. In negotiating new leases, the company saved £0.4m and achieved an average reduction of 37%. It also plans to accelerate store relocations and refits, aiming to double the number of Big Box locations to around 100 and increase Hybrid stores to 200 in the medium term.

While Shoe Zone places emphasis on physical stores, it recognizes the importance of digital investments. The company is making infrastructure changes at its head office and increasing its investment in digital platforms. It believes these areas are crucial to advancing its strategy and is committed to spending at least 3% of its turnover annually on capital projects.

Shoe Zone’s omnichannel approach has played a significant role in its success. The company highlighted its efficient returns process, supported by its extensive store network, as a factor in the success of its digital operations. With a returns rate of 10.9%, the majority of returns are made in-store, highlighting the importance of the physical store network for the company’s future success.

Overall, Shoe Zone’s recovery and positive results can be attributed to its omnichannel strategy, including the growth of its digital operations and the reshaping of its store estate. The company’s focus on efficiency and adapting to consumer preferences has helped it navigate the challenges of the pandemic and position itself for future growth.

Useful links:
Shoe Zone Official Website
Retail Gazette