Friday, September 08, 2006

Retail Shoe Stores are responding to Soles4Souls Challenge!

Retail Shoe Stores Are Responding to the Soles4Souls Challenge

Soles4Souls™, the non-profit organization dedicated to providing new and used footwear to needy people around the world, has announced a creative way to get more people to donate their shoes toward a good cause. Soles4Souls is partnering with hundreds of retail locations around the country to offer a "shoe swap" promotion. Customers who bring in a used pair of shoes will receive an incentive from the participating retailer, such as a discount toward a new pair of shoes.

One retailer who recently participated in the promotion was Sole Shoes & Accessories, located in the trendy Edgewood Retail District in Atlanta, Georgia. On Friday, August 25th, Sole ran a 20% discount toward a new pair of shoes for people who brought in a "gently worn" pair of shoes.

Abigail Lignugaris, owner of the popular store, said that her store netted between 100 and 150 pairs of shoes. "We sent out an email blast to our regular customers informing them of the promotion, and we also had many people come back the following day with a pair of shoes because they learned about it after walking in to browse through our store," she said. "It was a great event and the Soles4Souls people were really great to work with."

Paul Wilson, President of Soles4Souls, said that the opportunity for a partnership between retail stores, individuals and Soles4Souls presents a unique way to help people around the world. "There are millions of people around the world who don't own a single pair of shoes, and there are an estimated 1.5 billion pairs of shoes lying around in American closets," he said. "Our goal has always been to get Americans to donate shoes so that someone else's life can be improved, and these in-store promotions are a great way to help people while getting a new pair of shoes at a discount."

Soles4Souls provides an in-store display donation bin, digital images for customer email newsletters, and posters for placement in and around the retail store. The donation bin can be tailored for the retailer to reflect the details of the promotion (i.e. the amount of store credit, a percentage discount, etc).

Wilson said that some retailers are reporting an increase of up to 20% in sales from the previous year while running the shoe swap events. Soles4Souls has the capacity to add hundreds of new retailers who wish to start their own "trade-in" program and is looking for more retail partners who want to help the charity while also increasing their own sales.

The lead time for Soles4Souls to get the materials to the retail store is ten days or less, depending on the location of the retailer and the amount of stores it wishes to include in the promotion.

About Soles4SolesSoles4Souls facilitates the donations of shoes, which will be used to aid the hurting worldwide. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate footwear (both new and used). Soles4Souls is a 501(C)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. For more information, visit or call (888) 840-7074.

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