14 Mar Rack Room Shoes, Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse make moves to secure position as national powerhouse
For the first time in company history, family footwear retailer Rack Room Shoes recently came together with its fashion-forward counterpart Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse for a Managers’ Meeting in Orlando. The decision to host the inaugural event as one company reflected President and CEO Mark Lardie’s vision to strategically unite business operations. The unified outlook for both brands promotes efficiency and functionality, while keeping other brand aspects separate to maintain uniqueness.
Operating under the German-based ownership of The Deichmann Group, one of the largest privately owned footwear retailers in the world with 3,600 global locations, Lardie continues to take proactive steps to execute an aggressive strategy of growth for both brands. During the next two years, the company will add 40 to 50 new Rack Room Shoes locations and 10 new Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse locations to the current mix of 420 Rack Room Shoes stores and 80 Off Broadway Shoes stores nationwide. Lardie also mentioned the future prospect of acquisition to increase the company’s buying power and visibility.
At the Managers’ Meeting, which promoted the theme “Great by Choice,” Lardie emphasized a shared service model. The two brands will join efforts in areas of finance, loss prevention, human resources, IT, e-commerce and loyalty platforms.
“The combining of forces began in 2013 when we invested in a $20 million construction project to double our corporate headquarters and bring our Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse team to Charlotte,” Lardie said. “We’ve continued to evolve from there, sharing resources to leverage a larger imprint in the shoe industry.”
Lardie singled out merchandise, sales and marketing as distinct areas that require “unrelenting brand focus” for the two brands.
“Both the Rack Room Shoes and Off Broadway Shoes brands have proven foundations built on discipline and creativity,” Lardie said. “Rack Room Shoes focuses on the millennial mom, a woman who values her time, efficiency and trend-right products, while Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse targets the style-conscious shopper, ages 25 to 34, who embraces a braver fashion approach, yet loves a good deal.”
Lardie added that customer service and a positive shopping experience will remain top of mind for both brands, which employ more than 5,000 store employees and 200 corporate associates.
“Our long term success is built on exceeding the expectations of our customers. We will continue to invest in products, systems and strategies that ensure the best shopping experience, in-store and online, putting our customers at the center of our business,” Lardie said.
About Rack Room Shoes
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Rack Room Shoes is the family footwear retailer of choice. Known as an innovator in the shoe industry for more than 90 years, Rack Room Shoes offers a wide selection of nationally recognized and private brands of shoes for men, women and children in comfort, dress, casual and athletic categories. For more information, visit Rack Room Shoes’ website at www.rackroomshoes.com.