Shoe store assortment: new approaches. Assortment formula VS Assortment matrix
19.06.2019 20806

Shoe store assortment: new approaches. Assortment formula VS Assortment matrix

The approaches to the formation of the assortment matrix have changed dramatically. If five years ago, many retail companies were just learning how to build an assortment matrix, nowadays 99% of industry companies already do this without fail. Therefore, today effective retailers are interested not just in the technology of constructing an assortment matrix, but in its optimization and improvement. This article will discuss the unique methodology of the Fashion Consulting Group “Assortment formula”, which allows you to see the assortment “clearly”, allows line employees to look at the assortment from above, as the owner of the company does, and also displays strategic parameters in the assortment groups business.

Galina Kravchenko Galina Kravchenko -

independent trend expert. Specializes in the development of commercial collections of clothing and footwear, assortment management in retail chains and wholesale companies. Introduces international experience in fashion product development into the practice of Russian companies. Successful consulting and training projects were implemented for companies in the Clothing and Footwear segments, including: Unichel, Econika, SALAMANDER, Kotofey, Lamoda, Otto Group, Gretta (ELEGANZZA retail chain), Leo Ventoni , Luxottica, Gloria Jeans, Holding Center, Oodji (ALMEO GROUP, Kazakhstan), Sportmaster, Shop&Show TV channel, 1001 DRESS, Sela, Wild Orchid, Conte and others. Author and presenter of a series of training workshops and a course of lectures on assortment management and fashion trends. He has numerous publications in b2b publications: Shoes Report, PROfashion, FashionUnited, Fashion Magazin, General Director, etc.

Why is it necessary to break assortment into groups?

The relevance of this issue arises when the number of articles becomes so large that it simply becomes impossible to keep them in memory. Then there is a need for generalization, that is, in the allocation of groups of articles on a common basis. Otherwise, sales reports will resemble an endless “sheet” of articles. And if in your business there are not only shoes, but also bags, belts, accessories, then endless multi-line tables will become unreadable and uninformative in practice. In addition, additional manipulations and reloading a large amount of data manually take a lot of time from employees, and, often, the real statistical picture can be distorted due to errors of the “manual drive”. This issue is especially acute for multibrand companies with an assortment of more than 20 brands and / or more 2 000-3 000 products.

Structuring the assortment using the FCG technique allows you to show an accurate portrait of the assortment group that is understandable to all employees. Each row and cell in the assortment matrix is ​​no longer anonymous. The form of the assortment matrix itself becomes a single form of reporting and assortment management in various processes and divisions of the company.

The principles laid down in the FCG “Assortment Formula” methodology allow moving KPI goals of a business to assortment groups. And you need to start from the upper, general level, gradually going down to the bottom (articles, names, types of assortment). It is this approach that allows you to see the range from above, considering each group as a contribution to the total result.

What helps you see the assortment from above?

An effective strategic structure of the assortment consists of seven groupings of models / articles that can be included in a strategic document:

  • Commodity group
  • Age and gender groups
  • Style groups
  • Risk groups
  • Capsule Themes / Seasonality
  • Types of assortment
  • Name (specification of assortment type)

Each company builds its correlations and proportions between the assortment groups. Speaking in mathematical language, in the assortment formula, the groups are constants, and the structure indicators of each parameter are variables. Structuring the assortment of shoes according to the above seven principles allows us to optimize its performance indicators, as well as reflect its positioning and key competencies in its structure.

What does each group mean?

1. Commodity group. It combines the articles according to the principle of use by the buyer and the method of production. Examples of product groups:

  • clothes
  • shoes
  • bags
  • belts
  • gloves
  • scarves / wraps
  • hats
  • other leather goods
  • bijouterie
  • hosiery
  • underwear
  • swimming clothes
  • shoe cosmetics and care products

Accurate and correct selection of product groups allows you to accurately see the development potential of the group, to evaluate the temporary resource of employees to work with each group, and also to accurately identify the procurement budget.

2. Age and gender group (PVG). A group of articles intended for a specific age and gender of CA. The key differences between age and gender groups are size ranges, designs, material composition requirements, and color schemes. The age and sex group in the assortment of the shoe brand reflects the marketing positioning of the company to a specific audience, since the offer of the range of assortments depends on this.

In each of the product groups, the proportions of all gender and age groups are laid. For example: women's, men's, children's shoes; women's bags; leather goods for men and women.

3. Style groups. This group is especially important for multi-brand formats and large-area shoe stores. The selection of lines and styles allows you to demonstrate the positioning of the company, to show the buyer a "portrait" of the assortment. This is done by grouping shoes by lines / styles in separate areas. It also helps the buyer immediately understand how your store is different from others.

4. Seasonality or capsules. This group allows you to lay down the proportion of assortment deliveries during the season and show the characteristics of seasonal demand. As a rule, seasonality groups are used in the mass segment of shoes. For example, in the sales season from August to January, the assortment includes all-season, demi-season and winter shoes. In the sales season from February to July: all-weather, demi-season and summer shoes.

5. Risk groups. Combine the design of models in terms of the predictability of their sales and the potential for residual formation. As a rule, three risk groups are distinguished: volume drivers, must haves, high risk.

6. Type of assortment. For shoes, these are the types of assortment indicated in GOST: low shoes, boots, shoes, sandals, boots. However, in practice, shoe companies expand this classification by adding meaningful product features. So, in low shoes indicate design features, for example: oxfords, sneakers, sneakers, monks. For women’s shoes, it’s important to indicate the height of the heel and the design, for example: pumps with a heel 10 cm, delenki on a heel 5 cm, shoes “Mary Jane” (design with an ankle strap) on a heel 3 see

This practice suggests that the traditional table of types of shoes is no longer enough and a more detailed approach, a more detailed grouping are important. The name is a detailed description of the model, which the company uses as the lowest level of grouping of articles. Below is only SKU *, or the article number, personal product code.

The name may contain one or more characteristics from the full description of the article. These characteristics are not randomly identified, but on the basis of a detailed analysis of sales, in order to highlight and develop the competencies of the company. The most popular characteristics for a detailed description of the type of assortment that are used in the name:

  • design features of the model;
  • top material;
  • sole / heel shape;
  • size, completeness.

When using the seven principles of assortment structuring using the FCG Methodology “Assortment Formula”, the tabular form of the matrix displays the strategic and operational parameters of the business and their relationship (shares and ratios in KPI indicators) in the assortment.

Strategy and Responsiveness


  • Assortment offer - Product groups, Sex and age groups;
  • Positioning of the company, stylistic DNA of the brand - stylistic groups;
  • The degree of innovation / rileatheress of the product and the strategy for working with fashion trends are risk groups;
  • Style positioning and difference from competitors - style groups / lines.


  • Features of seasonal demand and its fluctuations - Seasonality groups;
  • Features of the model range - Types of assortment and name.

The assortment structuring logic goes into the inventory planning algorithm and the procurement budget:

  • 1 stage - agree on indicators for strategic level groups;
  • 2 stage - coordinate indicators for tactical level groups.

When planning and managing the assortment in order to look at the store “from above”, it is important to initially plan the inventory, purchase budget and KPI indicators of the top, strategic level: Commodity group, Age and gender groups, Style groups, Risk groups. This allows you to display in the assortment and “digitize” in statistics the key strategic parameters of the business: assortment offer, company positioning, competitive advantages.

Further, it is already necessary to carry out, detail and lower to the operational level these key indicators as seasonal plans for assortment groups: seasons, types, names. This technique is considered in detail during the course of the Fashion Consulting Group “Fashion Assortment Management”.

This article was published in the 151 issue of the print version of the magazine.

The approaches to the formation of the assortment matrix have changed dramatically. If five years ago, many retail companies only learned to build an assortment matrix, today they do it in ...
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