The global pandemic has upended almost everything about our daily lives - from school to socialization to fashion. At the start of 2020, no one could have predicted the massive amount of change that was going to take place in a short period of time across all aspects of our lives.
The footwear industry was not spared, and COVID-induced changes became extremely apparent to me during the recent 2021 Spring buying season. Contrary to what you might be thinking, I believe many these changes are for the good.
1. Fewer Choices and Slimmed Down Lines: As retailers were forced to be more budget conscience, the major shoe brands have responded by slimming down their lines and returning to their core DNA. Throughout this buying season, I noticed many brands returning to the styles, leathers and attitudes that first put their brands on the map. This is a welcome change! Over the past few years, I have witnessed many brands moving away from their core in their quest to be “everything to everyone." This made it extremely difficult for buyers to weed through the “me too” product and decide exactly what styles to buy from a particular vendor. With this new vendor attitude of back to the basics, I am excited for my customers to have the opportunity to get the true sense of a brand, based on the selection in our store.
2. Individuals Can Make a Difference With the Choice of their Footwear: The global pandemic has sparked not only a social justice movement, but also a movement around being a better global citizen. Shoe vendors are jumping on board as they now realize that sustainability is becoming a big trend in the fashion industry, and the pandemic has accelerated this mindset. A good product alone is no longer enough to win a consumer’s favor. Shoppers are looking for brands that align to their personal values, and because of that mindset, major brands are becoming more socially and environmentally conscience. As a buyer, I continuously strive to introduce new brands to our store that align with our values. For example, in upcoming seasons you will see more vegan options in our store as ShoeFly looks to do our part in helping to reduce carbon emissions.
3. Shopping Local: Along with the movement to be better citizens, we have seen the shift in consumer mindset from supporting profit-hungry mega corporations to supporting small businesses who lift up their local communities. The Shop Local groundswell that has come as result of COVID-19 is heartwarming and does more to support our communities than Amazon ever could. When you shop local you support someone’s dream, you support their families, and you help provide job opportunities to the local community. Small business is the heart and soul of America and it is wonderful to see that through all the tragedy and loss, we are also reminding of community as the foundation of this great country.
As always, we thank you for shopping Shoe Fly! We never take your business for granted and strive to make your experience in our store or online the best it can be.
Fall fashion has arrived at Shoe Fly so stop in and see our new Fall lineup.