LAHORE: Some say diamonds are a girl’s best friend while others believe that a woman’s true weakness is shoes. Be it high heels, flats or pumps, die-hard shoe buffs will have a varied assortment of all in their closets (and sometimes a closet dedicated just to shoes!). Following the footsteps of international shoe retailers Nine West, Marie Claire and Vincci, Malaysia’s high street shoe store VISS has made its way to the country. Its first outlet was launched on MM Alam Road in Lahore on Tuesday.
One thing that never goes out of style is when affordability meets retail. Pakistani women love to bargain and are always on the lookout for cheaper and more reasonable options. This is where VISS comes in. The shoes on average cost around Rs2,000 which is pretty reasonable, explained Bilal Mukhtar, publicist and event planner.
“It’s an exciting brand for women who are young at heart and want to experiment a little,” said Atif Manzoor, brand consultant at VISS. “The focus of the company is on design, style, quality and comfort.” He added that the company advanced from being a simple footwear manufacturing base into a retailer and now, it is investing its time and money in aggressively spreading its presence across various markets around the globe.
While the shoes and handbags at VISS are affordable, the brand seems to lack style. PHOTO: PUBLICITY`
The shoe market in Pakistan is quite diverse with expensive brands like Nine West, a little less expensive ones like Bata and rather reasonable local brands also such as Stylo. VISS seems to fall in the category of reasonable brands due to its affordable price range and wide collection of shoes (as well as handbags); neon jelly flip flops, ballet flats, mid-sized evening pumps, loafers, etc.
While affordability is a major factor for a lot of customers, style is sometimes equally important and VISS shoes seem to lack that.
As the company doesn’t believe in franchising, it has hired local employees to look after the venture. Architects Inc handled the interior of the outlet, and while the store isn’t fashion savvy, for a high street conglomerate, the overall look fits the part.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2013.
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