View Full Version : Baby Shoes

19-06-2002, 12:37 PM
Hi all,

I am new here but have an idea I would like to share and ask for your opinons.

Being a new father, my wife and I have become increasenly frustrated at the lack of choice when I comes to buying Baby shoes for our young child who has just started to walk.

My wife comes from Italy and as a result we visit there quite often and have always found a good choice of quality shoes at reasonable prices. Coupled to the fact that childrens clothes in this country do not incure VAT where they have 19%IVA ( Italian VAT) in Italy the price differental is quite marked.

As such we have thought about importing Bady/ Childs shoes from Italy to the United Kingdom and have got as far as speaking to a few producers in Italy who were all keen.

We are looking for help in how we should proceed and also for another person who feels they would be intrested in looking at the idea and maybe taking it further with us.

19-06-2002, 01:15 PM
Your first step would be to arrange a meeting with Business link who will give you further information and the advise you need. If you are importing from Italy, this is classed as an "Accusition" (and not really import) as its with in the E.U as its free circulation of goods. You will also need to contact a shipping company who will transport the goods for you.

By reading your message, I presume you will be retailing the goods? It may also be worth you looking into suppling the Trade if you are directly importing the goods. (i.e Supply other retailers and wholesalers) thus increasing your market share.

Finally, it would be a good idea if you had some form of website once you are up and running to help promote your range of goods.

Good luck

19-06-2002, 02:27 PM

This is very interesting because I'm actually an exporter and therefore know the procedures/logistics that you will have to be aware of if you are wanting to import. I will obviously know these from an exporters point of view which should give you a better insight into the process. Not only this, last year I was in fact trying to track down manufacturers of a certain product that I felt would sell here in the UK to import, I have not had that much luck however and am still slowing pursuing this.

One key question that I would want to know the answer to is whether or not these suppliers in Italy are currently exporting? If so, your job has just been made a lot easier

Regarding the posting by 'designr', he is correct that within Europe we operate a free movement of goods policy, but despite this the British Govt can still put restrictions/taxes/limits etc on goods that are imported. You need to get in contact with Customs & Excise to find out if you will face any restrictions on these goods. You can actually go to their website and find this out.

I obviously do not know your financial position, but there are two ways of looking at your idea:

1- That you open a retail outlet/retail website here in the UK, and import the goods to hold them as stock. You will have to finance the purchase of the goods yourself inthis case, obviously in addition your retail outlet. If you then get no buyers then....well need I say any more.

2- You obtain a sample of the products you intend to sell over here from the manufacturers, which with a bit of negotiating you should be able to get for free. You then come up with a list of potential buyers (like 'designr' suggested) such as other retailers, wholesalers etc. When you have a buyer, you then arrange for the goods to be imported as you "should" (don't quote me) then be able to borrow the money from your bank against the money that the buyer will be giving you for the goods, obviously this will have to be in writing in some form of Letter of Credit. Which is another issue i.e. retailers/wholsalers over here may well require quite long periods of credit which creates cash flow issues, although this is up for negotiation.

Regarding your idea. Every credit to you and your wife for spotting this gap. I do have a lot of questions around your idea though, one that immediately springs to mind is:

- Where do retailers in the UK get their childrens shoes from now?

I am actually quite interested in this idea and feel that I may well be able to help you further. However, I haven't had time to mull over the idea in full to consider how things could/may work.

Where abouts are you based?

I hope I have been of some help to you, do come back to me if you like.


10-09-2004, 12:08 PM
I'm currently setting up my own childrenswear store.

The best place to look for the contact details of suppliers, manufacturers and agencies of children's shoes in the UK and abroad would be the National Childrenswear Association (www.ncwa.co.uk). Also, it might be helpful if you use the link from the 'ncwa's' web page to go on to the Premier Kids website. Premier Kids is a childrenswear buyer exhibition, thhe next one is in January 05. It might also be useful if you purchase an event programme as all the contact details of manufacturers, suppliers etc. forbaby shoes, kids shoes will be listed!

I hope this helps

10-09-2004, 01:31 PM
...in the UK alone, approx 2,500 people looked for "baby shoes" or variants thereof (leather baby shoes, first baby shoes, designer baby shoes, etc) just last month, across just one search engine network!

Looks like there is quite an online market for your proposal, why not give us a shout to discuss how to capture some of this traffic and retail the goods.


James Hirst
A4 Internet ltd
0845 108 0411

10-09-2004, 05:08 PM
I totally agree - there is a complete lack of choice for children's shoes in this country on the whole - and when it comes to very young children between say 1 and 3 the choice is horrendous - I used to dread shoe shopping.

The trouble with shoes for very young children just walking is that they need to be very flexible on the soles, but still suitable for street walking, but for some reason we don't seem to want to cater to the needs of this age.

Then even when they are walking well the choice isn't too hot.