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Shoe sale attracts thousands

Posted: June 25, 2012 10:13 p.m.
Updated: June 25, 2012 10:13 p.m.

Customers wait to enter TOMS Shoes' Warehouse Sale, hosted by AMS Fulfillment at the Gateway Promenade center in Valencia on Friday.


Thousands of people, visiting from local regions and around the state, lined up in Santa Clarita for great deals on TOMS shoes this past weekend.

“Our rough estimate on the number of people that attended the sale is 7,500,” said Jay Catlin, president and managing partner with AMS Fulfillment who conducted the sale on behalf of its client, TOMS shoes.

As the shoe retailer cycles into new seasonal lines, the company clears past-season, overstocked shoes locally through AMS Fulfillment at significant discounts.

Over 300 people were camping overnight before the first day of the sale, Ken Wiseman, CEO and managing partner, told The Signal for a Qwik-e video-short during Saturday’s sale. Consumers came from as far away as San Diego, Sacramento and Fresno.

“By the time we opened Friday morning, we had a line four football fields long,” he said.

To manage the increased inventory and the big crowds expected based on last year’s sale, AMS extended this year’s sale from two to three days.

“We had to rent 34,000 square feet of building space just for the sale,” said Betty-Lou Wiseman, vice president of client services with AMS Fulfillment.

The amount of inventory to be sold increased significantly, said Steven Helmle, vice president of business integration. The company needed more space to accommodate the big crowds and parking. AMS received at least eight times more shoes than it normally gets for these sales, Betty-Lou said. It must have been tens of thousands of shoes.

Although sales on the first day didn’t begin until 9 a.m., AMS staff arrived to find people lined up around the building — in fact several groups camped out Thursday night to secure their place in line, Helmle said.

Not only does TOMS sell its off-season shoes, it also makes sample and one-off designs — shoes that never made it into production — available to shoppers, Betty-Lou said.

Based on past experience conducting sales for their client TOMS shoes, renting the empty retail space allowed AMS Fulfillment to let more than 400 people in to shop at a time. The shoes were being sold at 50 percent or more off retail price.

“We scanned every pair of shoes that left the building so that for every pair of shoes a customer bought, it put a pair of TOMS shoes on a child,” she said.

As of Monday, AMS Fulfillment executives were still working on the final sales tally for TOMS, Ken said.



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