Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 46


Shoe Mill
Today the company has nine brick and mortar locations
and sells via the Internet on shoemill.com. Concerning online retailing Habre explains: "Like most independent shoe
retailers, our website started out as simply an information
page that detailed where our stores were located along with
a brief history of our company.
"However, we soon realized that customers were going to
our site intending to purchase from us and this presented an
opportunity that we should take advantage of," he continues.
"Even though it was a significant investment of time and
resources, it is one we are glad we made."
He credits the company's overall success to its strong
work ethic, which his parents exemplified. "They had this
mentality that they simply were not going to fail no matter
how hard the going got," he recalls.
"If hard work was what it took to succeed, they weren't
going shy away from it," he continues. "If long hours were
required to get the job done, then they sacrificed leisure time
to accomplish the tasks at hand.
"My dad also was a very dedicated Christian who had a
high moral ethic," Habre continues. "His whole selling style
was to be helpful to people. He wasn't just selling footwear;
he was selling service with kindness.

"

Ultimately, it comes
down to a desire to
help people and give
them a superior
customer experience.

"

"He would provide this atmosphere of respectful service to
people who he considered to be his friends and neighbors,"
he says. "When he would measure their feet, they would be
fit properly and feel comfortable in their footwear. It's still
part of our company culture. We've continued that attentive
selling style to this day."
Shoe Mill has established itself as an iconic brand in
Oregon. "People know who we are because we've been in
business nearly 40 years," Habre says, noting that the stores
also are well positioned in the Pacific Northwest. "Our
strategically located stores allow customers in our region to
find us easily."

Satisfying Buying
E-commerce has changed the way Shoe Mill's customers
buy products, Habre says. But the company does not see this
as a negative challenge; instead, it views it as an opportunity
for the company to grow.
"We have to make ourselves available to all customers
who choose to shop with us," Habre says. "If it's not convenient for them to shop our brick-and-mortar stores, we
need to be present for them to shop our selection of great
brands on the Internet."
But Shoe Mill has no plans to close its physical locations,
either. "We need to be available to our customers wherever
they want to shop," he says. "If they're going to come to the
store and have a personalized experience, our challenge is to
make sure that experience is incredibly satisfying."
Although Shoe Mill's physical locations cannot match
the breadth of product that is available on the Internet. "We
curate our selection each season to what we believe to be the
best products appropriate for the clientele that historically
come to our stores," Habre says. "They depend on us season after season to bring them options that make them feel
comfortable both in feel and sense of style."
The company continues to refine the retail experience,
Habre adds. "We're trying to make sure that our stores are
as inviting as they possibly can be, and that our employees
are working at maximum efficiency," he says.
46

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

March/April 2016


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 2
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 5
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 6
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 7
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 8
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 9
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 10
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 11
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 12
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 14
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 18
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 19
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 20
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 21
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 22
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 23
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 24
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 25
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 26
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 27
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 28
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 29
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 30
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 31
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 35
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 36
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 37
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