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Shop Talk: Paris' New Shoe Mecca

Galeries Lafayette opens huge shoe department.

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Amazon Taps Outdoors

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Amazon Taps Outdoors
Seattle-based Amazon.com bowed an outdoor recreation store on its Website earlier this month. Housed at Amazon. com/outdoors, the site features an expanded offering of outdoor footwear, apparel and gear.

“Evidence is emerging that outdoor enthusiasts and casual adventurers alike are turning to outdoor recreation activities more than ever,” said Ben Hartman, director of the new site. “We want to provide a convenient destination for customers to find and discover a great selection of all things related to the outdoors.”

The online store stocks hiking boots, sandals, trail runners, climbing shoes and casual styles for men, women and kids from brands including Merrell, Vasque, Lowa, Adidas and New Balance.

“We look at search data on the site to determine which brands customers are most interested in, and ensure we offer a great selection from those brands,” Hartman said. “Our goal has always been to help our customers find and discover anything they want to buy online.” — Jennifer Ernst Beaudry

Afaze Eyes Web Biz
Afaze is getting ready for the next phase in retail. The Totowa, N.J.-based retailer, which targets shoppers in their teens and early 20s, is launching an e-commerce business in September, said president Doris Zinke.
“The timing was right for us to bring our presence online,” she said. The Web store will feature accessories, including scarves, hats, dresses, headbands and bags, as well as footwear, which is a growing category for the retailer.

“We launched footwear about three years ago with flip-flops, and it did so well we added flats, sandals and boots the following year,” said Zinke. Since then, Afaze has continued to add various styles from brands such as Classified. Prices range from $16 to $45.

“We’re projecting that footwear will be almost 20 percent of the business this year,” said Zinke. “Our price points are very affordable, and that’s why [the category] is doing so well for us.”

The company has nine brick-and-mortar stores across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, and another store could bow later this year, said Zinke.

“We’ll probably look to open another location in Manhattan,” she said, adding that she is excited for JCPenney to move into the Manhattan Mall, where Afaze has a store.

 

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