Passion Soles will be targeting two distinct groups of fashion-concious female shoppers--professional workers and housewives. While both groups are interested in dress shoes, the professionals will also be looking for fashionable shoes they are able to wear with their business attire. The housewives might be looking for fasionable but more casual shoes.
4.1 Market Segmentation
Passion Soles is targeting two different population segments within the broad category of the fashion-conscious female with disposable income.
Professionals: these are full-time working professional women. They typically earn more than $45,000. They will purchase shoes for the workplace, as well as for leisure time.
Housewives: The household income of this group is $60k-$120k, generally toward the higher end of this range.
4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
These markets will be targeted through an attractive, eye-catching storefront in a popular mall. Most women within the target market shop at malls. Malls allow them to visit many different stores within the same vicinity. By just having a visible storefront in a well traveled mall, Passion Soles will receive walk-through customers.
While the leased space in a mall is expensive, one of the benefits that you pay for is the mall association which spends money on marketing the mall and the stores within the mall.
4.3 Industry Analysis
Women's shoe retail industry is made up of several different types of companies:
Shoe-only stores: As the name implies, these stores only sell shoes. Generally the shoe-only stores will either sell athletic shoes for men and women, or dress shoes for only one sex.
Large department stores: these types of stores sell everything, including shoes.
Small women's retail stores: these types of stores cater to women by only selling women's clothing and shoes.
4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns
Passion Soles has three direct competitors in Eugene:
(name omitted). This is a women's only clothing and shoe store. They have a nice selection of clothing but a poor selection of shoes. The shoe styles are not cutting edge. The price point for the shoes is $30-$120.
(name omitted). This is a large, complete, department store. The store however, suffers from cluttered displays and a general sense of disorganization. Shoes here are $30-$120.
(name omitted). This is a national franchise that only sells shoes, for both men and women. This company will sell knock-offs, shoes just like name brands, but with their name on it. While this store has a huge selection, the quality of the shoes leaves a lot to be desired. This is somewhat understandable as the shoes typically sell for $13-$50. While the shoes are often good copies of famous brands, the execution is sometimes off. Many of the shoes are made out of pleather and look like they were dipped in wax, giving them a tacky appearance.
An indirect competitor is a shoe smith that will dye shoes. The shoes are typically dyed to match a specific dress. Not all colors can be dyed, and dying in general is not the ideal situation. Dying shoes creates a new shoe color that is acceptable only 20% of the time.
The two major competitors in Portland are:
Nordstroms: mid- to high-end department store known for their outstanding customer service. The shoe price point is $60-$300.
Saks: this department store caters to the high class, older crowd. Shoes range from $75-$400.
The buying habits for fashion-conscious women consist of typically buying at least one pair of shoes per month. Women generally purchase a pair of shoes to go with a specific dress. Once the woman purchases the dress she will then begin the sometimes long search for the perfect pair of shoes.