The eighth guest of our section “Together to win: the vision of expert retailers to overcome the crisis” is Cristhian Santos Aponte, Corporate Commercial Manager at Spring Step Spring Step is Colombia’s largest footwear and accessories trade organisation. Founded in 1953, it has more than 200 physical stores located in 45 cities in Colombia, with products from the best brands of the highest quality at fair prices. A shopping experience that speaks of “tradition” for the whole family with more than 60 years of experience.


Undoubtedly, the crisis caused by COVID-19 to Retail in general will bring great challenges for the future. Perhaps the main challenge is to identify the opportunity framework that lies ahead in a market that will not be the same and will require innovation and strategy. This Innovation must be supported by strategic pillars that will guarantee an efficient reopening process.

1. Compliance with government-determined Biosafety protocols.

This is a key point that not only guarantees the opening will take place, but will also gain the shopper’s confidence. This first stage of opening will generate unforeseen additional costs to comply with this protocol and there will be a need to seek organisational operational efficiency to ensure that these additional costs are offset and not passed on to the price in the midst of a competitive market that is likely to be focused on promotional discount campaigns.

2. Develop a new approach to the shopping experience.

In the midst of compliance with Biosecurity protocols, it is important to guarantee a differential shopping experience that integrates physical Retail with the social media and E-Commerce strategy.

3. Ensure break-even point.

Sales projections for the second half of 2020 paint a picture of difficulty in terms of sales and revenues to cover the effort rate and direct operating expenses. Managing to negotiate rental values oriented towards a variable percentage of sales is a necessity.

4. E-Commerce/Omnichannel Development.

Online sales have been perhaps the only source of revenue during quarantine, excluding the large retail outlets that have been operating. For those who already have or were in the process of developing their E-Commerce platform, it will be of utmost importance to speed up these developments, especially focused on achieving strategic alliances with brands and/or complementary products under the Omnichannel concept.  


Written by: Cristhian Santos Aponte (Corporate Commercial at Spring Step)