Although Aerosoles has had a print catalog since 1992, the company’s initial brand–What’s What Shoes–was only available in stores. But now the shoes and accessories manufacturer/marketer is taking the line direct with a What’s What catalog.
Edison, NJ-based Aerosoles, which includes 130 stores nationwide, mailed about 400,000 copies of the first What’s What catalog in late April. According to Magnus Gustafsson, vice president of direct marketing, describes the What’s What launch as a “soft” one before the company’s fiscal year ends this month. “Circulation and frequency [of the catalog] are up in the air until we do a full rollout next year,” he says.
The What’s What brand had been kept alive through wholesale while the 20-year-old company focused on the Aerosoles line. “The Aerosoles brand grew out of What’s What to become the main brand for the organization. What’s What became more of a wholesale and outlet brand,” Gustafsson says. The company decided to relaunch What’s What as a new line to complement the Aerosoles brand, he says. “We thought there was a void in the marketplace we could fill” at the lower end of the market, as the price points for Aerosoles range between $79-$89, while What’s What shoes fall into the $49-$59 prince range.
In other Aerosoles news, the company in January relaunched its eight-year-old e-commerce Website with improvements to bolster online operations through real-time management, reporting of key performance metrics, and enhancing the customer’s online shopping experience. Web customers can now shop by shoe size or available inventory; other new options include advanced shoe imaging and photo manipulation control and “catalog style” shopping, which adds the look and feel of the traditional print catalog.
Gustafsson says the new-and-improved Website assists customers “while allowing us to carve a deep niche in the online retail shoe market.” So far Aerosoles is pleased with the response to its recent efforts and enhancements, he says. “Customer reaction to the catalog and Website, as far as how the brand is being presented and the functionality on the Website, has been positive.”