Imbox Protection Expands Retail Partnerships in US Market – Footwear News

After several months in the US market, Imbox Protection Inc. is making inroads into shoe retailers.

Founded in Denmark in 2011, the company specializes in offering patented in-store units that quickly and safely apply an organic, water-based protective treatment to all types of footwear. The elegant boxes, which can be placed on the floor of the showroom, have four nozzles that spray products in a closed environment, assisted by a scanner that ensures an even coating.

Imbox has now placed over 7,000 units in Europe and Japan – as well as the US, which it entered last July with its Chicago headquarters.

The US team is led by North American manager Oliver Hede. He said there are numerous benefits of Imbox units for retailers.

First is the convenience for consumers. The entire treatment and drying process takes only 60 seconds and can be completed during the checkout process. And the cost to customers is $7 per pair, giving retailers an additional revenue opportunity.

“Most stores have an average conversion rate of 30% to 40%, while some of our top performing clients have an 80% conversion rate,” Hede said. “It’s an added service if you set it up right.”

And he found that geography isn’t always a factor. Imbox partners with Lucky Feet Shoes in Southern California, who sell the service to about half of their customers. “And that in a warm climate with lots of sandals. I think a lot of people wouldn’t expect that,” said Hede.

In the US, the company has also placed units at Schuler Shoes in Minnesota and at Birkenstock stores in San Diego, California. In Europe, the most important customers include the Deichmann Group and The Athlete’s Foot.

Imbox units are rented to retailers with no upfront cost. The company takes care of the delivery, installation and training of the staff. Clients pay a monthly fee based on the total number of treatments performed. Imbox also manages the replenishment of the protective liquid, which it can track remotely.

Hede said his team is focused on building lasting partnerships as it looks to expand in the United States. “This is a recurring business, [so we’re looking for] someone we’ll be working with for years to come,” he said. “We will do most of the heavy lifting in terms of installation and training and then let them be the experts on the sale. But we also need a partner who sees the value because it’s a big investment for us.”

He noted that while the company originally designed its protective solution for dressing shoes and boots, it has seen rapid adoption for other footwear categories such as outdoor, performance running and sandals.

“We want to build a new category, a new revenue stream, a new feature in all these retail stores,” Hede said. Imbox Protection Expands Retail Partnerships in US Market – Footwear News

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