Covid-19: Shoe Zone boosts online sales through heavy promotions

Shoe Zone has aggressively used its online operation, by offering discounts during lockdown, to generate much-needed sales as it pursues its strategy of streamlining the business and reducing costs.

The company revealed online sales had increased by 31.9% to £6.5 million in the six months to April 4, compared with £5 million last year, helped by a ‘BOGOF’ promotion on all products during lockdown. This has since been reduced, now applying to only certain lines.

This failed to help Shoe Zone report rising revenues as turnover dropped to £68.9 million, from the £73 million recorded in the first half of last year, and this performance is reflected in the company’s ongoing review of the viability of all its stores post-lockdown. All 416 outlets in England, Northern Ireland and ROI re-opened by June 15 with social distancing procedures introduced.

This forms part of the strategy announced at the beginning of the year, which included a focus on big-box expansion (it has 47 large stores), town centre renewal, and digital growth. The latter has seen the company actively build its database of customer emails to 1.4 million, versus 500,000 in 2019, which the company says forms a key lever in its digital performance. 

Shoe Zone’s online sales have grown during lockdown to account for 17% of total sales compared with previously forecasted sales for this period of 6.5%. The company’s challenge will be to retain some of this percentage post-lockdown without the benefit of the BOGOF promotion.