Just like any other business, the pandemic has also affected the footwear industry. Yet some shops are trying to stay afloat by selling online and offering a flexible return policy as fitting and trial are an important part of shoe shopping.
The Business Standard reached out to some of trendy footwear companies who are doing relatively well even during the pandemic by efficiently running their online operations.
Bariq & Co
The luxury brand makes shoes for women in Bangladesh with local materials and tries to promote local craftsmen.
Bariq & Co opened a showroom two years ago in Banani.
While speaking with The Business Standard about the footwear industry during the pandemic, its founder Badria Anis informed, "The online platform is the way forward for the fashion industry. We have a shop also, but during the pandemic we are selling 90 percent of our products online."
"We are also launching our own website soon. We provide exchange policies because shoes need to be worn and tried for size."
When asked on current sales, she replied, "We had one Eid during the pandemic, another is soon to come. Consumers have actually shopped quite a lot. So far, we are satisfied with our sales."
"Compared to other times, sales dropped by 20 percent. But the festivals actually saved us. Also, shopping is an escape mechanism for people staying at home now. We are hoping our sales will remain consistent," she added.
For upcoming Eid-ul-Azha, Anis has different plans since the situation is different now. "We tried to design according to the current situation – glamorous pairs of flats or low-heeled shoes, which are more comfortable for people to wear indoors."
"Our Eid plans are to focus on making sure our clients enjoy these designs and feel comfortable wearing them."
She also said that their shoes are proudly made in Bangladesh with high quality materials sourced locally and from abroad. She designs the shoes in her factory.
In 2016, Footloose Bd launched with a motto to collaborate with local craftsmen commonly known as muchi.
"We joined hands to manufacture fashionable women's footwear for our local markets. In our journey so far, we have been supported with knowledge and expertise passed down for generations by our local craftsmen," said Hridi Shafiq, founder of Footloose Bd.
"We are now working together to support each other by upskilling knowledge and expertise required to manufacture products of great quality."
Footloose has outlets in Jatra and Groove Bistro, however, to ensure safety they are only favouring home deliveries now.
"We keep minimalism at the heart of our process so that we can deliver our customers comfortable products in every step. We source all our materials from local markets," she added.
Their return policy is convenient, as consumers can return products through the delivery people and in case of manufacturing defects, they usually exchange the products or provide refunds.
Speaking about their design and materials, Hridi informed, "Our products are made by local craftsmen. Materials such as faux leather, leather, clothes etc are all handpicked from local markets."
"Like all businesses, the pandemic has affected ours as well. However, as the economy is gradually opening up and logistics services are scaling up, things are slowly going back to normal," explained Hridi.
For upcoming Eid-ul-Azha, Rave footwear has offered 20 percent off on all of their products. A sister concern of Texmart Fashion, Rave imports stylish women's shoes and accessories.
Shoe lovers can purchase products from Rave's official website, and also connect with them via social media platform.
Rave also delivers out of Dhaka.
Customers can return their orders to the delivery man before making the payment. However, the authority will deduct the delivery charge and five percent refund servicing fee will be deducted from the total amount.
Their showroom is located in Jamuna Future Park and the collections are available at all Texmart outlets.