Footwear is not for the faint of heart. It’s one of the toughest segments in the retail industry. New product introduction cycles are long, development costs are high, and manufacturing is complicated. In the end, only one in five styles is successful in the market.
Euromonitor predicted that footwear sales will outpace apparel sales until at least 2020, and thus millions of dollars in sales are still up for grabs for those smart retailers and brands that can produce one or two winning styles.
But what is the secret sauce that can make or break a successful footwear brand? According to Alex Del Cielo, chief executive officer of Camuto Group, a multibillion-dollar private company and long-standing First Insight customer, success starts by being able to predict and keep pace with consumer demand.