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The Footwear Plus Daily Blog
Terhi Polkki's Nordic quest.
Submitted by Lyndsay McGregor on September 18, 2014

As a young girl growing up in Finland, Terhi Polkki dreamed of one day working in fashion. But it was only after getting a weekend job at a shoe store that she realized she wasn't only interested in hemlines, but rather what lay south of them. "I began to appreciate that shoes are more fascinating objects than garments," she recalls. This newfound interest led to her calling a local shoe factory looking for work experience, and the opportunity to see firsthand how shoes are made was all it took to seal her career fate. She completed her B.A. in Finland and shortly after packed off to England to do a Masters in footwear design at the prestigious Cordwainers at London College of Fashion.

Upon graduating in 2008, her final collection, made of ecological Finnish reindeer leather, was chosen as a finalist in the renowned International Talent...

Nick Cannon wore the world's most expensive shoes last night.
Submitted by Lyndsay McGregor on September 17, 2014

It seems Nick Cannon picked up a thing or two during his marriage to Mariah Carey, namely her love for all things flashy. The 33-year-old host of "America's Got Talent" commissioned Beverly Hills jeweler Jason Arasheben to customize a pair of Tom Ford shoes especially for the show's season finale last night. The result? More than 14,000 full-cut round white diamonds set onto white gold, with a total carat weight of 340 carats, bedazzled the slip-ons, valued at $2 million and currently being reviewed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the Most Valuable Pair of Shoes in the world.

"When Nick approached me last year he said he wanted to make history and be so over the top," says Arasheben, noting that the process took more than 2,000 hours of work and close to a year to complete. "It...

What's selling at On the Beach Surf Shop in Monterey, CA.
Submitted by Anonymous on September 17, 2014

With beach sand on the floor, bamboo poles and an overall tropical theme, Kelly Sorensen says On the Beach's "timeless look" attracts tourists and locals alike in search of an authentic California experience. We chatted with the veteran surf retailer about what's selling at this Monterey, CA, store. - By Samantha Sciarrotta

Footwear Plus: How's business? Kelly Sorensen: Business has been kind of flat. The surf industry is going through kind of a hiccup--it's not as popular as it has been. With chain stores and the Internet, customers don't need to go to the beach to get beach clothing. You don't forget the big boys, but we need to put the "special" back into specialty retailing by focusing on some new brands, like Salty Crew and Depactus.

FP: How are your...

Reebok continues to grow its FitHub footprint.
Submitted by Anonymous on September 16, 2014

When Reebok opened its first FitHub location in 2012, the athletic brand wanted to present a physical manifestation of its fitness ideals. Six other FitHubs have since opened along the East Coast between Washington, D.C. and Boston, the most recent one opening in New York's Union Square last month. The concept is simple: Create a one-stop shop for all things fitness, from yoga shoes to CrossFit headbands. "It allows us to represent the brand's entire collection from head to toe," says Paul Froio, vice president of FitHubs and concept stores.

Decor and gym items like rope, rungs and pull-up bars give the store an industrial feel, and customers can access a 6,000-square-foot gym set in the location's basement. Apparel is divided into sections based on activity, and while corresponding footwear is scattered throughout, the bulk of the shoe...

Shoe Carnival focuses on omni-channel agenda.
Submitted by Anonymous on September 15, 2014

Shoe Carnival is tying together its brick-and-mortar and online efforts and embracing omni-channel retailing to better reach consumers and enhance its brand equity. Despite soft store traffic in Q2, the chain believes that by implementing improved digital capabilities, including the launch of its first-ever mobile, it can evolve the shopping experience for its customers.

"We will continue to make investments that we believe will benefit our long-term sales and earnings growth," says Cliff Sifford, president and CEO. "Two initiatives we are excited about are the conversion from third-party fulfillment of our e-commerce orders to fulfilling those orders from our stores and distribution center and the addition of our first-ever mobile app." He adds, "With these two initiatives set to launch...