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Fashion firms see sales gains
NEW YORK -- Fashion footwear resources heading into next week's Fashion Footwear Association of New York show reported only modest sales gains compared to this time last year due to a harsh retail climate, although a number attributed stronger increases to specific items that were hits with consumers, the introduction of lines, or programs designed to help retailers.
Sources said they were honing in on customers by trying to provide the right shoe at the right price, but noted that was only a cornerstone in building sales.
"We finished our fiscal year Oct. 31 and sales are considerably up, more than 20 percent," said Phyllis Poland, president, Phyllis Poland Shoes Inc., here. Poland said her shoes had become more evenly distributed but that "particular shoes sold well." Top sellers, she said, included a three-button shoe that appeared in a Vogue magazine ad as well as embroidery and leopard print models. She referred to product changes that have led to "quite big" volume increases over the past three years.
"We went to more quality," said Poland, adding it brought her retail price points up to $115-$150. "I was able to do more things (creatively). In order to do well, you have to have the right product."
Michael Katz, president, Seychelles, Santa Monica, Calif., said his company had sales increases over last year, …