Contemporary retailer Bebe Stores Inc. is entering the sports shoe fray with a new collection that begins rolling out in Macy’s stores this month in a bid to attract new customers to the brand.
The line, which the company’s calling an ath-leisure collection, will live under the Bebe Sport label and will be sold in about 800 Macy’s stores nationally, as well as on the department store chain’s Web site in a move to nab more Millennials, according to Bebe chief financial officer Liyuan Woo. Select Bebe stores will also carry the line.
“We believe that’s a better way to generate new interest and new traffic,” Woo told WWD.
The company, to expand on that wholesale strategy, is also considering product for higher-end channels such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, Woo said by way of example.
“If she’s not familiar with the brand, it’s just another way to put the brand in front of her,” Woo said.
The footwear launch includes four styles ranging from $69 to $89. A fifth style will be added in October and the collection will expand to include sandals in January.
Footwear company ZiGi New York LLC has the exclusive license to design the line.
Bebe counts 164 stores along with 36 outlet locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.
The company is in the midst of a turnaround under chief executive officer Jim Wiggett, a former executive at Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton, officially tapped to the top spot late last year following a stint as the retailer’s interim ceo. Wiggett has focused on making improvements to the product offering while also trimming discounting since his arrival.
Bebe reported net sales for the April quarter up 4.1 percent from the year-ago period to $92.7 million. It narrowed its net loss in the quarter to $10.9 million from $22.8 million a year earlier. Same-store sales for the quarter rose 1.2 percent.
The company’s shares were trading about flat in afternoon trading Tuesday to a recent market value of $148.12 million.