UK Footwear Shoes Retail Case Study

UK Footwear Shoes Retail Case Study

UK Footwear Shoes Retail Case Study


RubberSole being a national chain of stores that specializes in shoes has over a hundred branches across the United Kingdom. Although the company has an active website and has been making good sales, the company needs to draft effective strategies on the way forward to be able to make more profits. This will be achieved by coming up with potential strategies to be effected in a five-year period. The strategies need to stress on the company’s core goals. The plans are meant to strengthen their process on product diversification, core activities and its endeavors to get into the international market. Considering the extensive selection RubberSole has, it might put the unmatched competition to the market if the strategies are formulated wisely. The company will have all the different sizes of their shoes stocked per style. The company will as well need to come up with a good strategy to maintain a special relationship with wholesalers so as to achieve a bigger market share.

This report seeks to present a plan that tables an in-depth analysis of the competitive environment and the current trends in the market. The plan as well aims to examine RubberSole’s financial position and the risks it faces as a business. For the first three years, the company needs to have doubled their market share so that the remaining two years can be used for building a firm foundation.



RubberSole needs to understand where they are heading strategically. The company, therefore, plans to meet the demand for an upscale store that has a wide variety of shoes and over a hundred stores across the United Kingdom. The company plans to stay focused not to lose the customer attention. To be able to define where the company is headed strategically, a five-year plan has to be drafted where the company will monitor the changes throughout the period. In the first three years, the company needs to have increased the number of clients they serve by more than 20%. This is going to be achieved by ensuring that the unmet need with customer service and outstanding selection is served. RubberSole as well needs to have exceeded its clients’ expectation. The company additionally needs to develop other branches and its website to ensure that it survives off of its cash flow.

Company Mission

RubberSole’s mission is to provide markets in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world with an upscale selection shoes and as well ensuring that outstanding customer service is maintained. The company endeavors to attract new customers while still maintaining the already existing ones. The company seeks to adhere to the maxim so that all its plans can fall into place. It is the hope of the company that the customers’ expectations will be exceeded.

Company Summary

RubberSole is an upscale shoe store in the United Kingdom that seeks to service the un-serviced niche in the region. The company has over a hundred branches and hosts an active e-commerce website. RubberSole among the top best known independent shoe retailers in the United Kingdom. Its stores are located in major towns, city centers and retail malls, and at major rail terminuses and airports. Each shop has an average shop size of around 5,000 square feet. In the last few years the company has expanded steadily, opening two new stores annually. A feature of RubberSole is the bright and welcoming retail environment.
The company is fashion focused. Its core customer group is young adults from late teenage to mid-30s, who are conscious of brand image and style. The shops sell mainly branded footwear, but they
avoid competing with sports footwear specialists, where price discounting is fierce. They also have a Kids range and see the market for fashion conscious children and younger teens as
an attractive growth area.

The company aims at delivering their products to the customers in various regions. RubberSole offers a wide variety of shies since it has all sizes available per style. Before all the sizes are delivered, the company ensures that there is a demonstrative model two to three days earlier. This enables the company to determine the number of customers to expect per each size.

Ownership of the Company

RubberSole is a sole proprietorship owned by Georgina Starkey.

Assets Summary

RubberSole has been able to set up and equip their various stores with the necessary assets. The assets include:

  • POS terminal/cash register.
  • Computer system.
  • Front of store counter.
  • Back office desk and chair.
  • Display racks.
  • Shelving racks.
  • Chairs, mirrors.
  • Close Circuit Television Cameras
  • Assorted halogen track lighting.

The above listed items are considered as assets and are meant to be used for a period longer than a year. They are therefore referred to as long term assets whose depreciation rate is calculated using the straight-line depreciation method that has been approved by G.A.A.P.

Management Structure

The owner of the company Mrs. Georgina Starkey is the CEO while Mrs. Hendrix is the Managing Director. Others who make the management team are Sarah Maniac, the operations manager, Mike Purcell, the sales manager, Abby McDonald, the marketing manager and Timothy Tamika, the Chief Finance Officer. The six have proven leadership skills that will make the company succeed for in achieving its five-year goals. The following strategies will be applied to achieve this:

  1. Customers will be attracted by the existence of a professional relation between them. This is because before joining the company the four managers were the members of staff at Loake, New Balance, Celtic Sheepskin and Star Child Shoes shoe companies.
  2. The management team will also have recognition and respect from other similar companies given the fact the company will be dealing with state-of-art products.
  3. The experience that each member of the executive team has will go a long way in creating and retaining a reliable customer base for the company. This is because many customers prefer to be served by a team experienced in solving different issues be it technical or social.
  4. Since the members of the management team used to work in different companies, they will come along with the customers that they previously served to owe to the quality of the services they used to give them.
  5. The marketing and the sales knowledge of the two managers will go a long way in maintaining the sales of the company which may lead to the establishment of new branches of the company.


The company as well plans to have training overseers absorbed from different backgrounds is to boost the number of professionals working for the company. With the philosophy of focusing on the needs of the customers, the company will go hand in hand with the accountability of its Chief Financial Officer who has been reporting to the CEO. Information and technology experts will as well be required to ensure that ecommerce does well. During the peak times, the company will involve part-time positions in the company which will be directed towards the customer service desk. Others roles of the part-time personnel will be cooking dishwashing and serving under the auspices of the senior server and sous-chef.

Products and Services

RubberSole plans to venture in the provision of all brands of shoes both low cost and high cost in the region. The company will provide the community in the UK and beyond with a one-stop shoe shop for all their preferences. It will provide these services and products in a professional, cost-effective, pleasant and friendly manner.

Ready-to-sell-shoes: The company will be dealing with new and second-hand shoes in a variety of price range that has already been serviced and ready for any use by the customer.

Custom-Designed Shoes: It will create and deal in shoes that have been custom-designed according to needs and preferences of the customers.

Repairs and Services: It will perform full-service repairs of shoes with an emphasis on premium quality with a time-bound turnaround time.

Shoes clients’ databases: There will be workstations where the company’s customer’s information will be stored. This will be available both locally and abroad.

Market Research

RubberSole has a wide range of competitors who include small stores, regional and national shoe companies. Additionally, there are discount stores, department stores, and online retailers who as well pose a challenge to the company. Recent trends like supermarkets and boutiques who are selling shoes alongside their products have been a challenge. This has had an effect on the revenues and margins of specialist retailers.

In this environment, RubberSole’s recent record of profitability and steady growth is among the best in the industry. The Company’s success is based on its ability to differentiate its offer regarding such aspects as price, style,  quality, brand loyalty, comfort, customer service, atmosphere and store location, with the ability to offer unique products to its chosen customer niche.
Online sales have seen an increase over the last few years which is a trend that is expected to continue but the great majority of customers prefer to try-on shoes in a retail store before buying, rather than risk the inconvenience of having to return internet purchases by mail.

Target Market Segment Strategy

RubberSole aims at targeting its prospective buyers through eye-catching storefront in major towns and malls. The majority of the target customers will be women since they like visiting the malls more often since this are one-stop shops for their needs. By just having visible storefronts in major towns and malls, RubberSole will be able to get walk-through customers.

Leasing space in malls will be advantageous since no much money is spent marketing the products. This is because customers visiting other shops in the same mall might as well drop by and buy RubberSole’s products.

Target Market

RubberSole Shoe company will concentrate on its marketing efforts on targeting the unventured markets. The market research indicates that customers from these markets are most likely to be concerned with buying new shoes as well as upgrading the ones they already have. Since the purchase of shoes is universal across a variety of income groups and will mostly depend on the availability and the prices.

The table below shows sales volumes in stock keeping units last year. The company can earn better margins on some lines than others but giving more shelf space to the higher margin products does not guarantee more sales unless the demand is there. Customers expect their shoe shop to stock a wide range of shoe styles and sizes.


Sales volumes ‘000 SKUs




Female adult range

Male adult range

Children and young teenagers









Total market potential


Industry Analysis

For the company to come up with well-researched and effective strategies, there is the need for a company analysis. The shoe industry is commonly made up of different sectors that include: Shoe-only stores, large department stores, small retail stores.

Shoe-only stores deal with shoes alone and no other products. They specialize in selling shoes for all or only one sex. These might be athletic or dress shoes. On the other hand, the large department stores: sell shoes alongside other products. They include supermarkets where almost all kinds of products can be bought. Small retail stores only cater to a lesser population since they are not as big as the rest.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

RubberSole will need to leverage its competitive edge of extensive selection in an attempt to drive sales. This is, in reality, a competitive edge since it is ordinarily toll restrictive for a store to have much of a choice that RubberSole will offer. As a result of a novel plan of action, RubberSole can use their financial resources and offer an unmatched choice to their customers. This is achieved via conveying a huge choice of styles by stocking one size for every style. Once the client has picked the style, RubberSole will have the client’s shoes delivered in less than two days.

 Sales Strategy

An exceedingly visible store with alluring item displays situated in the shopping center will get a high rate of foot traffic. This is especially the case for a ladies’ shoe store. Ladies love to shop for shoes. Some ladies even this as a type of therapy.

The sales strategy will be having a vast selection of shoes. Since the prices will be made reasonable, having a wide range of selection will drive sales. This will help the company achieve its goals in the five-year period. This will additionally help those people who seek to ideally have their shoes match with their fashion style.