Family owned for more than 25 years, the Shoe Parlour claims to hold the largest footwear selection per square foot in midtown Manhattan. Located across the street from the celebrated Carnegie Deli, the 1,300-square-foot store sells leading brands to locals and tourists alike, including Ugg, Hunter, Dansko, New Balance and Sorel, says CEO Jason Rogowsky. “Our customers come from all over the world and we offer that personal service where everyone feels like family when they walk in the door.”
Current top-selling brands: Ugg, Hunter, Vibram FiveFingers and Sorel.
Best new brand added to your mix this year? Wolverine 1000 Mile.
Are boots once again reigning supreme this fall? Boots are playing a major role in our sales again—especially those that are practical and waterproof. Specifically, we expect Ugg will continue to be strong, and Sorel and Hunter will play major roles as well.
Is toning and shaping footwear still an important segment of your business? People are still interested in the concept. The category still does well for us. [Shoe Parlour sells MBT, Alegria, Skechers ShapeUps and FitFlop.]
Do your customers know what brand or style they want or are they open to your recommendations? A lot of our customers know what they want, but we carry some smaller companies that we can get them to wear as well. They love our recommendations.
Is the natural motion category a growing segment of your business? Yes.
What do your customers seek from you first: brands, price or service? Our selection of brands comes first and then, unfortunately, price.
What’s the outlook for the holiday shopping season? We are looking forward to another big snowstorm over the holidays. That was great for boot sales.
What has been the biggest change in your customer’s behavior of late? Customers continue to question the authenticity of the goods because of all the counterfeit goods on the market coming out of China. —Melissa D’Agnese