How we do it

Shoe Zone is able to maintain low retail prices due to high volumes ordered, direct sourcing from factories and by maintaining a low product line count. Approximately 95% of current season products have been manufactured in China where we have strong working relationships with suppliers.

Shoe Zone’s Head Office and Distribution Centre (known as "Help Zone") is located in Leicester, England. The Distribution Centre handled approximately 850,000 pairs of shoes per week during 2013. Our UK distribution network is managed in-house with stock being distributed to stores using our own low cost vehicle fleet of 33 lorries.

The average size of a Shoe Zone sales floor is 1,400 sq. ft. and store locations are typically in secondary and occasionally prime locations (in smaller towns and suburban areas). Over half of UK short leasehold stores pay rent and we believe our leasehold policy gives us flexibility to actively manage the store portfolio.

Shoe Zone’s online offering combined with our extensive store network enables customers to shop via multiple channels. Shoezone.com was launched in 2010 and sales in the 12 months to 31 January 2014 were equivalent to 11 times those of an average store. Customers are able to purchase all of the products currently available in stores as well as an additional 400 product styles which are web exclusive. The average transaction value online is 57% higher than in store.

The website is updated regularly by the in-house development team to ensure it remains robust and scalable for future growth.

Store staff are able to order products from shoezone.com via the store EPOS terminals. This enables customers' orders to be placed immediately if a particular size or style is not available in-store. In addition, this enables store staff to sell "web exclusive" styles to customers.

The store portfolio is an integral part of our multichannel delivery service. During the 12 months to 31 January 2014, 9.4% of online sales were collected by customers in-store, allowing for direct customer engagement and the potential to generate additional sales.

Free delivery is available on all online orders and free returns can be made to stores within 90 days of the date of order. This period for returns is due to be extended to 12 months from May 2014. Online sales are either delivered direct to customers using third party couriers or to stores using our own lorries.

Our experienced executive and senior management team has an average length of service of 15 years.