Diabetic Shoppe takes it a step further

‘We had to drum up business somewhere, so they can’t jerk the rug out from under us again’
Friday, July 25, 2014

CHARLESTON, Miss. – The Diabetic Shoppe this summer launched Foot/Mind/Body, a new e-commerce division, to offer custom shoe inserts online.

It’s not such a big step for Robert Salmon, who, for nearly 20 years, has created high-quality custom shoe inserts for people with diabetes and other foot problems.

“Our flagship model was to make the finest diabetic footwear on the market,” said Salmon, president and founder. “Now, we’ve tried to create what we think is the finest product on the market and offer it to anybody and everybody.”

When customers place an order at www.footmindbody.com, they receive a kit in the mail to create foam impressions of their feet. They ship the impressions back to The Diabetic Shoppe, which scans them to create a 3D image using CAD-based software. A pedorthist then analyzes the scan and model to determine the best design for that particular insole—categories include classic, runner’s, plantar, pain and diabetic customer insoles. The price tag for the initial order ranges from $150 to $175.

“There are all kinds of issues with feet,” said Peyton Boone, vice president of purchasing and inventory for The Diabetic Shoppe. “Plantar fasciitis is a big one, or just standing on your feet all day—it helps with that, as well. For runners, maybe you need to straighten out your gait. That improves their running and reduces pain.”

Boone is also working on a line of custom flip-flops and sandals—she’s still tweaking the model but has about a dozen prototypes she’s been wearing.

“I wear my flip-flops every day and I can tell you, they are the bomb,” she said.

The new site is part of The Diabetic Shoppe’s efforts to diversify into cash sales. When the national mail-order program went into effect July 1, 2013, The Diabetic Shoppe saw $2.5 million in revenues vanish, and had to reduce its employees from 70 to about 40, said Salmon.

“We had to drum up business somewhere that, preferably, wasn’t Medicare so they can’t jerk the rug out from under us again,” said Boone.