Sandpiper Shoes: Are shoes the right fit for mobility shops?

Michael Railton, of Sandpiper Shoes

For many retailers, diversifying product ranges to cater for more customers’ needs is one of the most important elements to staying competitive and whilst shops may often consider big ticket items, many may not consider smaller, niche products such as footwear. Michael Railton, of Sandpiper Shoes, discussed how introducing shoes to shelves could help benefit mobility shops all year round.

As the ageing population of the UK continues to grow, so too does the amount of people who have problems with their feet. As feet age, changes in the skin and joints result in feet losing some of their strength and elasticity, often seeing them spread and lose the natural padding around the heel and ankle that cushion them.

To help address the growing foot problems, specialist shoes such as the range supplied by Sandpiper provide carefully designed, super soft, flexible footwear to suit more difficult feet and, according to Michael, also fill a vital gap missing in the current retail market.

“The way retail is evolving, people with foot problems are finding it increasingly difficult to find outlets that offer a range of footwear specific to their needs,” he said.

Driving footfall through footwear

Providing an opportunity for retailers to step in and fill this gap in the market, Michael highlighted how specialist shoes are a natural fit for mobility shops, helping increase both footfall and repeat business throughout the whole year and not just at peak seasonal periods.

“Footwear featured in local adverts attracts attention more than any other product in a mobility shop and a good range on display, visible from the window or entrance, has been proven to increase footfall,” explained Michael.

“Additionally, our brand’s customers are loyal and give retailers regular, repeat business. Building up a loyal following of Sandpiper footwear customers in a mobility shop brings those same customers back time and time again, not only for their footwear, but also for higher priced, specialist mobility products.”

Extra support for stockists and customers

Understanding that introducing a new, specialist product line into a store can be difficult, the company says it provides a level of service and support to make it easy and effective for mobility retailers to offer this type of niche product to customers.

“Our whole ethos is to support and enhance our stockists, which includes attractive margins and multiple ways to make footwear work in a mobility shop” Michael Railton

In particular, Sandpiper boasts its own in-house marketing team which collaborates with its network to deliver unique marketing campaigns, something Michael feels sets the company apart and gives its retail partners an extra edge in the market.

“Our in-house marketing team works closely with retailers to provide graphic design, high-quality personalised printed brochures and flyers, as well as innovative digital and online marketing in a unique and highly effective way to drive customers instore. This provides a unique level of marketing support found nowhere else in the healthcare industry,” he commented.

“Being a wholesale company, our whole ethos is to support and enhance our stockists, which includes attractive margins and multiple ways to make footwear work in a mobility shop, regardless of the size of business or location.”

In addition to the marketing support, Sandpiper regularly advertises in a number of high quality national publications to actively help promote the brand and drive customers to its stockist network, as well as being recommended by thousands of podiatrists, chiropodists and healthcare professionals.

Standing out in specialist shoes

Discussing what makes the brand stand out in the market, Michael told THIIS: “The brand is well known for its high levels of quality in materials and manufacturing processes and is easily identifiable by the stylish design to keep wide feet looking smart.”

Stating that the shoes’ innovative fitting properties also contribute to a reputation of providing superior comfort, Michael underlined that the company’s values were just as important as the shoes’ product features.

“Quality, service, innovation, integrity and loyalty are what the brand is built on, which is ever more important in this increasingly challenging and competitive environment,” he added.

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