Carol Capodieci and Gialunca Antonio, co-owners of the two specialist "sister" sneaker stores Jump Milano, believe that service, a constantly updated selection of brands and products, and discreet but helpful customer service are key to their success. "Hardly anybody enters our stores and leaves without making a purchase," they comment, while explaining that they are constantly looking for new products and are doing their best to meet their customer's requests. "We can order that special hue a customer is looking for or apply studs or any small special detail to a product... And when a brand is too widespread we stop carrying it. This is why our customers return to our stores." Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini

What are your current bestsellers and why?
Our bestsellers are Converse (especially limited edition models), Vans and New Balance for sneakers. We also sell Nike, but they represent for us our fourth best selling brand. Also selling well are Chico and Ishikawa. Regarding apparel, our bestsellers are Scotch&Soda and Superdry. Also selling well in apparel is Keyhole who offer t-shirts which carrying Polaroid-like prints.

Do people buy according to their favourite brand, style, or impulse?
Our clientele is made up mostly of men and women aged between 20 and 50. Some of them buy according to brand, especially renowned ones. Some others trust our choice because they always know they can find cool brands.

Where do you order from? How do you inform yourself about trends? How important is communication with regular customers? How do you communicate with them?
We order after visiting trade shows such as Bread&Butter, Pitti Uomo, White and by visiting showrooms, most of which are based in Northern Italy, near Milan. We communicate primarily through our shop window and our store. The store and selection of products are our main means of communication. We change our shop window every ten days. Moreover we restyle our shops almost entirely at the beginning of each season.

What do the collections you offer for next Fall/Winter look like?
We cannot say that there are very different trends season to season because sneakers can be worn almost all year round.

What are the most important trends, in general?
Flower-printed sneakers are gaining importance for both men and women.

Have you added any new labels to your assortment recently?
We are constantly adding new brands for accessories and apparel, while sneakers' brands are more or less always the same. Among some of the new entries we can mention Dr. Martens' and TUK, who make laced-up English-style shoes with platform rubber soles, and Victoria, who are another brand of sneakers.

"Our bestsellers are Converse, Vans and New Balance for sneakers", the owners are saying.
"Our bestsellers are Converse, Vans and New Balance for sneakers", the owners are saying.
How does your store differ from other stores?
We order items that are not in the shop at no extra cost. For instance, if our client wants a certain sneaker in a colour we are not carrying in our store they can order it without adding any extra onto the price. We don't earn more out of this special service, but we can make some more clients happy without filling our warehouse up with colours that might not sell. Our clients also appreciate our good selection of products. When a brand - especially for apparel - is too widespread we stop carrying it. We try and look for some other brand because we don't want to offer products whose distribution is too widespread. When we discover a new brand we start selling it in the Via Sciesa store, which is based in the very city centre and whose clients are more greedy for novelties. We generally then start selling them in our less central Via Pacini shop, where clients are less demanding in terms of new brands.

What do you like about your customers?
We like that they listen to our advice and trust us. We appreciate when someone returns to our store and says: 'They paid me compliments for this piece I bought in your store!' This is a great satisfaction for us! For instance, when tank tops were cool we didn't carry them in our stores because we considered them cheesy. For this we offered other pieces and people appreciated that. Another thing we appreciate is that almost every time no one leaves our stores without buying something.

How important is the interior, the atmosphere and the whole package?
It is very important. It is also very important how you serve people who enter the store. They pay us compliments because we are kind whenever they enter our stores and ask them if they need any help. Some of our customers have complained that they have stepped inside well-known stores in Milan city centre and no one has greeted them or asked if they needed any help. They also appreciate when you tell them about the article you are selling to them. It is a way of earning their trust; telling them about the products you are selling and about how you select your merchandise. We also carry some small accessories which are handmade by our clients. They can be bracelets or bijoux made with fabrics, beads or unusual materials. When our clients show them to us we offer to sell them in our stores and they are almost always very successful. We also offer another service in our shops: we can also apply studs, metallic rings, leather fringes, and other small accessories to sneakers. It's a service we have been offering for the last two years and it continues to be highly appreciated!

Store's address:

Jump Milano
Via Sciesa 2
I-20135 Milano
tel.: +39 02 551 6267

Via Pacini, 13  20131 Milano
02 4548 9870