Outdoor retailers support footwear charges

About 20% of outdoor retailers favour the introduction of footwear charges for boot fitting according to a survey undertaken by OCC Outdoor.

The magazine has reported that retailers see footwear charges as one way of stemming the increasing frequency with which customers, having availed themselves of the boot fitter’s expertise, then go and buy elsewhere.

Although the majority of retailers believe such a move would prove impractical, findings revealed that a number have already given serious thought to introducing footwear charges. The survey further confirmed that footwear sales have become increasingly important to outdoor retailers over the past three years and on average account for 35% of total turnover.

Pelican’s MD Michael Bennett said: “The practise of charging for fittings is already common in the cycling sector where bike fitters discount the fitting charge when the customer commits to buy the bike”.

He added: “Independent retailers can use footwear fitting charges as a way of emphasising their expertise. The key is to ensure customers see this as a value added service, rather than a charge for browsing.”

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