Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Brown Shoe Company Is It Fashion or Cheap Consumable

Brown Shoe Company (BWS) touted better than expected results. They made a profit and were surprised. The real concern is how they portray themselves. They claim to be a consumer company. They are presenting at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2010 Consumer Conference, held at the Palace Hotel in New York City on Thursday, March 11. Ron Fromm, Chairman and CEO, will host. They present their numbers with explanations of margins and overheads.

In reality they are a fashion company. Included in the quote attributable to Ron Fromm is the statement that they are selling “Fresh and On Trend” If they do not deliver the fashion items they will not get the margins and full price.

They do not explain a thing about design and development. Apple (AAPL) has great design and beats out competitors in most categories. If investors look forward yesterday’s margin means nothing. Tomorrow’s hot pair of shoes is everything.

A continuation of this thought is what type of marketing are they known for? The press release makes no substantive comment about marketing campaigns.