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FFANY Preview: Deer Stags’ Cross-Category Growth

Deer Stags believes men look for three main qualities when buying shoes: comfort, value and style, in that order. The brand is meeting its customer’s needs by providing innovative comfort, high value and designs that suit their core consumer’s style and environment.

As Deer Stags works to keep its range of customers satisfied across these three categories, National Sales Manager Danny Muskat reported it has experienced growth across the board. The company has seen an especially good response to its waterproof boot program, which sells to people both in the service industry, and those in need of a dress shoe that can withstand weather. The styles sells not just in the fall, but eight months a year.

Within this category, Muskat said Deer Stags is updating their classic Times boot to a waterproof version called the Nu Times, which will feature similar styling to the original boot and include sealed seams and a TPR slip-resistant outsole.

The brand is also experiencing success with its new, more style-conscious line called Prime, which sold this season at Nordstrom. This line features classic styling with a tailored, tapered look. The company sets its Prime line apart in the market with an attainable price point and shoes in large sizes up to 16 Wide.

Highlights from the Prime line include the Seattle boot, a leather shoe with a chukka-meets-dress boot silhouette; the Abbott Wing Tip Oxford with a coated canvas upper and a two-tone outsole; and the Delaware, a combination loafer-retro runner in suede with a red contrast sole. For the Spring ’16 Prime line, the brand is working on new casuals with coated fabrics.

For some comfort brands, a challenge moving forward is online shoe sale, where customers can’t physically try the technology. Muskat said Deer Stags has grown online and sees e-commerce as a way to better understand what customers want.

The brand considers the online channel as an opportunity to examine search data on what people are looking for in comfort shoes. They have also enhanced Deer Stags online presentation with new 360-degree views of their products and videos that demonstrate the shoes’ features and how they look in motion.