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Sarah Jessica Parker: Retail can be terrifying


Sarah Jessica Parker admitted having a retail business is “terrifying”.

The ‘Sex and the City’ actress launched her SJP shoe firm with an outlet in New York in 2014 and she admitted the last few years in particular, which have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, have been “hugely challenging”.

She said: “Retail is really hard. It’s terrifying, especially the last couple of years, it’s been hugely challenging.”

Although her e-commerce division – which started three years ago – is “the biggest part of the pie”, Sarah won’t consider getting rid of physical premises because she loves the customer interaction.

Speaking to ‘Retail in America’ podcast host Ron Thurston on Friday (22.04.22), she said: “For me as an actor, you don’t have the opportunities to talk to your audience. [Selling on the floor] is the oxygen. We all really love it.”

She explained how she can learn what customers want rather than what they need from talking to them, as well as getting an idea of their competition.

She said: “You learn that by being on the floor just by sharing stories and seeing their feet. It’s been for sure the most joyous part of the work…

“It’s an old-fashioned way of engaging with people. It’s immediate satisfaction, even if you don’t make a sale,” said Parker.

The 57-year-old star felt a responsibility to stay open during the pandemic.

She noted: “People kept buying our shoes even though they had nowhere to go.”

An audience member asked Sarah which shoe made her realise she’d made it and she said it was the Fawn, a classic low-heeled pump.

She said: “It’s allowed us to tell who we are.…It’s beautifully made, incredibly comfortable and some might argue it’s the most comfortable pump. We offer it in exquisite, really saturated colours. Our customer keeps coming back for more. That kind of satisfaction, it’s what we need to pay the bills.”

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