T&T’s footwear customers have continued to spend their money on shoes despite the downturn in the economy, according to Jerus Mohammed, country manager, Payless Shoe Source.
“Our T&T customers have always had a high spending power. With the economic downturn we have seen that rate reduced, however, shoes are a necessity in T&T and we have to wear shoes, everyone has to wear shoes. So instead of buying three pairs of shoes, we have found that our customers buy two, but we still do extremely well here,” he told the media yesterday.
Mohammed was speaking at the opening of their new super store in Trincity Mall.
Payless Shoe Source opened its first super store in the English speaking Caribbean yesterday at Trincity Mall, which brings the total number of stores to 22 in T&T.
Payless Shoe Source is the number one speciality footwear retailer in the United States and one of the world’s largest.
The new store is contained in 4,682 square feet on the upper level of the mall and is twice the size of a standard Payless store.
According to information from Payless, the super store concept is designed to give customers a more comfortable shopping experience with wider aisles, more cashiers, more staff and more styles with over 25,000 pairs of shoes in stock at that branch.
Mohammed said their women’s career shoes is the most popular segment.
Denise Bernard, vice president, Latin America and the Caribbean region for Payless Shoe Source, who also spoke at the event, described a super store as “a wide array of shoes that we could not fit into a conventional store.”
She said they had a “soft opening” on Wednesday and since then 2,400 customers have visited the store.
“That is a testament as to the loyalty of our T&T customers and how faithful they are to us.”
She said they opened the super store based on feedback from customers.
“There was a need for more sizes, there was a need for more depth in the product and more variety. What large format stores as this one do is give us the possibility to bring that solution. This has made us the authority in footwear in T&T and in all of the Caribbean.”
Scores of customers filed into the store after the launch.
Ann-Marie, who was accompanied by her daughter, told Guardian Media that they usually buy all their shoes at Payless and came to the new super store to see what bargains that they could have gotten.
“We always check out the sales and the styles we want. We always go to the store in Mausica but today we came to this one to see the variety. This one is much bigger than the one in Mausica and the prices are reasonable.”
Another shopper, who identified himself only as Kelvin, said there was not much difference with other shoe stores.
‘This one really big for sure but other than that I do not see the big difference with other local stores. It is about the same prices,” he said.