Olly Shoes thinks it's found the right fit by promising frazzled parents their kids' toes won't be scrunched in ill-fitting shoes, thanks to a patented foot-measuring technology. The Toronto-based shoe chain, created by the founders of Staples and Canada's Timeposters, launched two U.S. stores this summer.
Plans call for 12 more this year and 130 in five years, says Paul Bundonis, Olly president. Retail properties will range from 1,000 square feet (for mall space) to 2,000 square feet (for freestanding outlets) and will at first be concentrated near Boston and Washington, D.C., he says.
Olly, now at White Flint and Fair Oaks malls in Washington, D.C., and Exton Square Mall in Philadelphia offers a custom fitting system for children ranging from infants to pre-teens. An average of four computerized scanning systems are located in each store, resembling trains (for new walkers) and photo booths (for children up to 12 years old). The scanner takes seven seconds to digitally measure the shape and size of footprints for an exact fit, while storing the memory into a database.