Will Stride Rite Be Around Much Longer?

When a big chain or brand goes under, rarely does it happen overnight.  You don’t see a once healthy business go belly up.  There are usually warning signs.  I’m starting to really wonder if Stride Rite shoes is falling into that category.  There are a number of reasons that I am thinking that it could be a brand that might not be around longer.  Note: This is only my opinion based on observations and widely known news.

Stride Rite Is Closing Stores

We have always been Stride Rite shoppers.  I’d guess that well over half of our kids casual shoes have been from Stride Rite.  They seemed like they were good quality.  Also, since we had an outlet store nearby, it was nothing to get a good style and fit.

I think that trying on shoes is pretty important.  Rarely do we every buy shoes sight unseen.  Having that fit is kind of important.

So, we were a bit surprised to hear that they are closing all of their nearby stores.  It looks like they are closing many stores throughout the country. Apparently they want to be more online focuses.

I just don’t know how you can sell a majority of your product online when it comes to something like shoes.  I suppose they could work to sell them in other stores, but there’s a lot of competition to overcome when selling alongside a bunch of other brands.

Stride Rite Ended Their Loyalty Program

Kids Shoes
image from morguefile courtesy of KellyP42

Stride Rite had a loyalty program.  I don’t think we ever took part, but maybe we did.  My wife would know.  But in any case, the program is gone.  They’ve decided to end it, according to their website.

This seems highly unusual.  Usually you want to build a following and keep a reason for customers to stay loyal.  By removing a big incentive to stay brand loyal, they are risking losing customers they probably want to keep.  It seems pretty strange to me.

Final Sale Is Apparently A Policy You Might Not Know About

Against our usual habits, we bought some shoes online for our son.  They came and while they fit, they weren’t exactly what we had in mind.  My wife called to see about returning them and was told that they were final sale.  She looked back at the online listing and there was nothing about it.  The price was still the same.  She mentioned this to the rep and was told that they aren’t noting the policy on each item page.

Like, who does that?  Not a company that has generally been known for pretty high customer service in the past.

Where Will Stride Rite Land?

It’ll be interesting to see where Stride Rite will land.  It almost seems to me like they’ve given up.  I know that the retail market is tough these days.  But, the things that they’re doing seem to be the opposite you’d expect out of a company that wants to work their way through it.

Readers, what do you think?  Am I misreading the signs or do you think Stride Rite is in trouble?  What other companies do you personally think might not make it?  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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2 thoughts on “Will Stride Rite Be Around Much Longer?

  1. Stride Rite is a sort of business turmoil at the moment but I hope they come to this situation in flying colors and win the business back which they seem to have lost at the moment. I really feel that their loyalty programs and stores shutdowns are more to do with their expenditure reduction rather than business shutdown. They should bring in more innovation and new trends into light as those are some skills which are required in this ever-changing retail world.
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  2. Gosh. That’s amazing. I have to admit, I’ve never bought anything there, and if they have that kind of customer service, that’s just as well. Yet Stride Rite feels like a kind of American institution, like Sears and Monkey Ward and apple pie. You’re getting too old when you’re watching these things go away.
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