We spoke to 32 year-old Sean Clark, founder of Vancouver-based online footwear retailer ShoeMe.ca. In this interview, Clark told us about his website’s phenomenal growth, and how his company allows those who live in remote Canadian locations the opportunity to purchase premium footwear. Sales are skyrocketing and forecasts predict sales of an impressive $30 million/year by 2015.
Clark may have gotten into this business at the right time – currently, only 2% of Canadian footwear sales are online. That number is expected to increase to 15% over the next five years, and ShoeMe.ca intends to capitalize on that growth.
Few may have heard of ShoeMe.ca, and that’s not surprising. The company was only started in August 2012 by this former employee of Clearlycontacts.ca, transferring some knowledge he gained by working with the popular online eyewear retailer. Clearly Contacts CEO Roger Hardy is now an investor in Clark’s company.
ShoeMe.ca‘s revenues are already projected to be an exceptional $5 million in 2013 alone. Sales forecasts for 2014 are in the $10 million area and in 2015, ShoeMe.ca forecasts sales of an impressive $30 million.
One of our first questions to Mr. Clark was about online footwear purchasing and sizing: how can one buy shoes online without trying them on?
ShoeMe.ca has an excellent response. It allows for free returns as well as free shipping, and it stocks well-known, trusted brands whose sizing customers may be familiar with.
ShoeMe.ca has warehouses in Vancouver and Toronto with about 20 employees and thousands upon thousands of pairs of shoes. The company doesn’t compete on price – in fact, most of what it retails is at full price.
ShoeMe.ca competes with its vast selection of footwear sizes and brands, its customer service (hence its generous return policy) as well as the convenience of online shopping for those with limited access to footwear retailers. Interestingly, 40% of its customers live in rural parts of Canada where quality designer footwear is not easily found.
We’ll be watching ShoeMe.ca closely, as this new Canadian company is seeing exceptional growth.