Danny, can you tell us a little bit about the business? When and why were you inspired to get into retail?
We just celebrated our 77th Anniversary! I’m a 3rd generation shoe dog, and my two children are working with me, making them the 4th generation. We’re carrying on a family tradition. What inspired me to get into this business? I love shoes and how they are built. From the ground up, I love the leather, the construction and the function. Shoes need to be more than just a simple foot covering.
Tell us about your staff and their selling process.
We have some of the most professional sales associates out there, with some being veterans of over 20 years. Our staff is focused on creating an experience for the customer that rarely exists in today’s retail climate. It begins with measuring the customer’s feet and asking questions to acquire information about the customer in an effort to better identify the voids in their wardrobe. Our salespeople and managers create relationships with customers that last forever!
Any celebrity clientele?
We have celebrity regulars that include Ryan Seacrest, Bruce Willis, Jerry Seinfeld, Yoko Ono, Robert De Niro, Joy Behar and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, just to name a few.
How has New York retail changed since you first started?
We have seen a tremendous change, particularly in the retail landscape on the Upper West Side. Years ago, we were the only game in town. Now we compete with DSW, The Bloomingdale’s Outlet, Marshalls, and Century 21, as well as clothing stores that now offer footwear.
What are some of your favorite brands right now?
My favorite brands change with the fashion cycle, but right now, Steve Madden is spot on. He delivers up-to-the-minute fashion at an aggressive price. Additionally, Samuel Hubbard, Birkenstock and Fit Flop are doing big things; and Theirry Rabotin continues to offer unique and quality footwear.
When did you first start coming to FN PLATFORM?
I’ve been there since day one. It’s a must, not only to remain current, but to use it as a road map to see where we are going as an industry. It is the temple of footwear. I’ve found European brands that I never knew existed at the show, as well as domestic brands that I’ve never come across. Additionally, it serves as an opportunity to network and build relationships with key partners.
Any valuable advice to those first timers thinking about making the trip to FN Platform:
Make a list of the vendors you’re interested in seeing. This will better help you navigate the show. Lastly, make sure you dedicate enough time to this event. There is a lot to see, and while it might not all be relevant to your business, more of it is than you might think!
Register to attend FN PLATFORM in Las Vegas August 14-16!
Thank you to Danny and Tip Top Shoes! For more about the company and their product, head to tiptopshoes.com or if you find yourself in NYC, visit their storefront at 155 W 72nd St. New York, NY 10023.