Counselor

Trends - Slip ’N Slide

Expand apparel sales with slippers.

Looking to put some pep in the step of your apparel sales? Slippers can be just the answer you need.

“Slippers are commonly used for retreats and resort location-type environments,” says Shawn Kanak vice president of sales for Towel Specialties (asi/91605). “Additionally, they are terrific for hotels, spas and comfort-related uses. They make terrific combination gifts with our robe collection, as well as our basket combinations that utilize robes, towels and other amenities from our Cabana Bay collection.”

Neet Feet offers a cozy slipper reminiscent of the retail-favored Ugg brand. “The Kozi slippers have been very successful in company stores that enjoy a consumer interest, like VW, which has sold our slippers for about five years,” says John Amsterdam, president of Neet Feet. “Other excellent uses are as a corporate travel amenity and executive gifts, especially during the holiday season. We have also made them for professional sports teams, and some schools and clubs have used them as fundraising items.”

A nice perk that slippers afford is forgiving size issues. Kanak explains that Towel Specialties’ lines of slippers are all OSFM (One Size Fits Most) and unisex. “As a rule,” he says, “OSFM is great for products that can be re-gifted and these are perfect for that. If the recipient doesn’t necessarily wear the product, then he/she probably knows someone that would love to have them.”

Neet Feet’s Kozi slippers come in a range of sizes for adults and kids, and orders can include any size breakdown. “The slippers have a somewhat flexible fit,” Amsterdam says. “So if you don’t know the shoe sizes of the group you want to fit, it’s possible to utilize two to four sizes for adults and have slippers that fit every recipient very well. If the distributor wanted to keep things very simple, it would be OK to order one size for ladies (ML) and one size for men (LG) and be confident that most folks would have a decent fit. Many of our orders go with only two sizes, but it’s entirely up to the buyer’s preference.”

Wondering what type of slipper is best for your audience? Consider the different fabrications. When comparing waffle weave to velour, Kanak advises, “The waffle fabric is lighter and offers a cooler effect and is very functional around pools and spas. The velour, closed-toe fabric is built for softer uses around the home and more cold weather events such as holiday gift exchanges.”

When it comes to choosing the right slipper, Kanak considers a non-slip sole as the most important feature. In addition, he recommends OSFM sizing because it simplifies ordering and is always in sufficient stock. “We are never out of stock on sizes, and that means a lot to an end-buyer,” he says.

Amsterdam’s essential considerations come down to perceived value, quality materials, good construction and decoration. “A leather upper sets the standard, with other fabrics having a lower perceived value,” he says. “The slipper lining is important because the foot rests there, so a plush fleece or thick, soft inside is desirable. Embroidery is the best option for decoration. ”