City Gear is a prolific urban footwear and apparel retailer, known for high-profile shoe releases from brands like Nike, Air Jordan, and Adidas. With over 130 brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. and endorsement deals with multiple professional sports teams, the past 40 years have been beautifully successful for the brand. A Shopgate mobile app helped bring them into the 2010s, and they quickly became one of our best-performing apps.
Buying new shoes for the new school year is a well-loved tradition among consumers. We recently interviewed City Gear's Director of Omnichannel, Chris Brigham, on how the brand is taking advantage of this shopping season in 2018.
City Gear has been running a robust push notification campaign that appeals to all shoppers of the season—not just kids. Considering the fact that they also market to college students, athletes, and even parents who suddenly find themselves on-the-go and in need of good footwear, they "pushed" out a campaign with promises of deals like:
- 25% off major brands including Asics, New Balance, and Reeboks
- 25% off kids' athletic apparel and footwear they'll need for the new school year
- 30% off all clearance items as they prepare to bring in their fall and winter inventories
With the use of emojis and smart messaging, City Gear has seen as much as a $750 return on a single push notification.
Desktop & Email
City Gear promoted their website with hero banners displaying hot products, such as the Air Jordan 5 Retro, which also qualifies for free shipping.
Aware that email marketing has not yet slowed into irrelevancy, City Gear also launched campaigns specifically for the season to drive traffic to their website and app.
Brigham indicated that City Gear mostly focused on brick-and-mortar stores this year, with special deals like scratch-and-win cards, regional picnics, and backpack giveaways. "Every state we operate in has a tax-free weekend, so we tried to take advantage of that by offering some popular styles at a small discount that made them eligible for the tax free sale," Brigham said, proving that brick-and-mortars can be flexible with the locations they're stationed in.
Biggest Challenges of the Back-to-School Season
According to Brigham, "Back to school is one of our more profitable seasons. Usually the challenges are just having the right product in the depth of inventory needed to sustain selling when it hits. Schools don’t always go back at the same time every year, so that part is hard to predict."
Most Popular/Promising Products for the Season
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Author: Casey Gannon
Vice President of Marketing | Casey is an experienced tech marketer, driven to develop marketing strategies that blend traditional techniques with emerging technology. With over ten years of experience in mobile, she believes that mobile apps are the modern solution in helping retailers directly connect with and impact consumers. When she's not looking ahead to the next opportunity, Casey is a busy mom, soccer player and adjunct professor at her alma mater, St. Edward's University.