Seizing the Children’s Market

Of course finding success in the children’s market is far from easy. Youth inventory doesn’t turn as often and traffic can be seasonal, largely tied to the back-to-school season. Yet more, at-once availability with children’s footwear is limited.

“If you want reliability, it has to be futures,” White says. Bringing in new inventory, meanwhile, can be costly, even risky. At Running Central, for example, White opened in 2014 with dress shoes, boots, sandals and athletic shoes, intentionally attempting to mimic Nordstrom.

“I wanted to show we had all the solutions,” White says.

Turn rates, however, were slow and White learned an expensive lesson. Today, he largely favors athletic silhouettes and only tinkers in other options. Still, his children’s area features roughly 200 footwear SKUs from more than a half-dozen brands, including Nike, New Balance, Stride Rite, and Step & Stride.

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