Two Ten Footwear Foundation partnered with Footwear News and their FN Labs to celebrate our 80th anniversary with a series of opinion pieces written by footwear people from across the industry.
Some Things Never Change.
At The NPD Group, we are known for equipping the market with tangible information and insights to help businesses grow. What may be less obvious to outside observers is the other fundamental way that we offer support: through helping to take care of our client and retail partner communities.
With this spirit, I joined the Two Ten Footwear Foundation’s Associate Board three years ago in an effort to play a larger role in providing a hand up to colleagues in the footwear industry facing hard times. As the industry changes and contracts, I find myself fielding calls and e-mails from former associates who reach out for help or advice. Aside from doing whatever I can personally, I know, I will make a bigger difference as part of an organization wholly focused on this goal. The Associate Board has rallied colleagues to raise money and awareness for the Foundation, volunteer in our communities through the Footwear Cares program, attend WIFI events, and more. But there is still work to do – and market dynamics could have an impact on how we get there.
As a researcher, I detect shifts in the retail landscape and consumer behavior and can see the pace of change is quickening.
Collectively, we need to navigate the changing environment to better understand how the future of the industry will look. We must ensure that new entrants, such as direct-to-consumer brands, and new retail models, including resale, rental and subscription services, all understand and support the core mission of Two Ten, which is consistent and timeless.
The Foundation is a constant, regardless of the change happening around us. We must ensure that the 80-year tradition of our footwear community taking care of each other continues with the next generation and beyond.
Please join me in thanking Two Ten for supporting our footwear community. I hope that together we will help this important organization continue its mission for another 80+ years.