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Allen Edmonds: Official Thread - Page 6

post #76 of 192
As was discussed on the Allen-Edmonds thread a few days back, A-E has discontinued many of their offerings. Consequently, I drove out to the A-E outlet in Cabazon, CA, and picked up the Benton and the Kingsley in chili at closeout prices. Simon there also let me use my recrafting bonus toward buying the Shelton saddle shoe in the discontinued brown & chili version. (As you can probably surmise, I like A-E shoes in chili.) Anyway, it had struck me when I saw in Rider's post on the previous thread how many A-E styles and colors had been discontinued that it looked as if their product line is shrinking. Thus when I got home today, I did a comparison between their Fall 2003 catalog and their new Spring 2005 catalog, and they do indeed have significantly fewer offerings in styles and colors: 142 compared to 165 in the catalog from 18 months ago. The new catalog is much thinner than the older catalog, too. Are these signs that Allen-Edmonds is hitting lean times (I hope not.) or just a sensible streamlining? Any insiders know anything about this one way or the other?
post #77 of 192
I wouldn't say "lean times" but product lifecycle management, which would include discontinuing certain lower margin, lower volume lines, is pretty common for manufacturers/retailers. It's not great for the consumer who might favor a certain style that is cut, but it's good for the consumer who likes to see newer styles introduced every season or every other season.
post #78 of 192
Like most manufacturers, A/E operates under the 80/20 mentality - or fact, really. 80% of the business is done with 20% of the sku's. The 'other' 80% of any season's selections are a constantly revolving door. Each season you work to find maybe 1 pattern/color that will make it into the top 20% - like last years Stockbridge. If a style or color does not pay for itself, it's gone. I say most manufacturers, but really you could say production manufacturers. The Italians have a different philosophy. They make NO production 'stock' models so the line is either completely reworked each season, or they will make the same thing over and over for you specifically - it's up to the retailer to decide.
post #79 of 192
Jan, I think they can rely on you to single handedly keep them in business.   How many AE's are you up to now? Addendum: I like the Bentons.
post #80 of 192
From what I remember reading, there was a kind of recession in the company. They had to cut down their work force by some percentage. They said this was due to the fact that they were not going to outsource, like Bostonian did, for example. They had to meet the times, and this is one of the ways in which they do it, I suppose. Rider, I agree with you on that note. I just think it ironic that the man that came up with the 80/20 analysis, Vilfredo Pareto, was Italian.
post #81 of 192
Quote:
The Italians have a different philosophy. They make NO production 'stock' models so the line is either completely reworked each season, or they will make the same thing over and over for you specifically - it's up to the retailer to decide.
Is this true for all of the Italians? Obviously, that's the way that Gravati and Martegani and Borgioli operate, but how about outfits like Testoni and Ferragamo, which seem to come out with a "collection" each year and your only choice is whether you want a particular shoe in black or brown.
post #82 of 192
Quote:
Is this true for all of the Italians? Obviously, that's the way that Gravati and Martegani and Borgioli operate, but how about outfits like Testoni and Ferragamo, which seem to come out with a "collection" each year and your only choice is whether you want a particular shoe in black or brown.
Good point - I should have been more specific. Of course, most of these 'International" Italian brands are simply marketing companies who's main focus is developing a trademark and would rather tell you what to wear than ask you what you would like. The factories themselves are more...accomodating.
post #83 of 192
Alan C: I feel almost guilty to confess this, but my current purchases bring the total up to 23. What makes this even more embarrassing is that I only bought my first pair of A-Es at a Nordstrom's sale in July of 2003. Had they not opened their outlet center in Cabazon, my total would have been far lower. I certainly could never have afforded anything like this total on my limited means if I had had to pay anything close to full retail. As it is, I paid either $79 or $129 for about a third of the abovementioned total. As a man of the cloth, you could probably make me a good subject for a sermon on the sins of extravagance and vanity.
post #84 of 192
Quote:
As a man of the cloth, you could probably make me a good subject for a sermon on the sins of extravagance and vanity.
And then you could say, "Physician, heal thyself."
post #85 of 192
must...resist...puns...aaaagh... proposed sermon title: 'Saving the Immortal Sole' /andrew - has a minister father who cursed him with an affinity for puns
post #86 of 192
AlanC: I don't think I have ever learned in what denomination you are a minister and I'd be curious, having been an avid student of religion and theology for a goodly part of my life. I will add that I was pleased to learn that John Stollenwerk, the proprietor of Allen-Edmonds, is a very devout and involved Christian, albeit of the RC persuasion. Have you ever been to an Allen-Edmonds outlet? If you like their shoes, you really do feel like the proverbial kid in the candy shop. I somehow have the sense you are in Alabama. Is this correct? The only two A-E outlets in "Dixie" these days are the one in the Florida panhandle and the one in NC. The one they used to have in Sevierville, Tennessee, is not in their current catalog, so I guess it has been closed--a pity given that Elbert Allen, the founder of the company, was born in nearby Franklin, Tennessee.
post #87 of 192
Franklin is a very nice area just outside Nashville. I came this close (imagine a close distance) to landing a position there. Would have been nice. Sevierville is close to Knoxville and the Smoky Mountain National Park. I had hoped to visit that outlet sometime. I'm off to Florida for a couple of days tomorrow, but will be in Tampa, not the panhandle. I actually only have one pair of AE, which I bought from their ebay store, a pair of chestnut Lexingtons. I recall you didn't like the chestnut color; that's okay--I do. I really like them (preached in them yesterday, in fact), although my Bennie's Grensons have somewhat spoiled me. And I'm also not too big on the newer AE styles, although I quite like the Colton. It replaces the Lexington as their semi-brogue, and I like it better than the Lexington. Future purchases likely will be Alden and/or English shoes, although I won't rule out AE certainly. Anyway, I'm decidedly 'low church'. I preach in a church of Christ. We prefer to consider ourselves non-denominational as each congregation is independent with no governing body or official association directing things. I'd be glad to discuss it all with you. And yes, I am in Alabama, in the Birmingham area. I'm a Kentucky boy by birth and raising, though.
post #88 of 192
Quote:
From what I remember reading, there was a kind of recession in the company. They had to cut down their work force by some percentage. They said this was due to the fact that they were not going to outsource, like Bostonian did, for example. They had to meet the times, and this is one of the ways in which they do it, I suppose. Rider, I agree with you on that note. I just think it ironic that the man that came up with the 80/20 analysis, Vilfredo Pareto, was Italian.
There was a very interesting article, and maybe it's the same one you were thinking of, concerning AE "commitment" to labor and American goods. Normally, I cringe when I see that word used -- because they mean the opposite. Or at the expense of the thing they are "committed" to. The president of AE discussed the importance for him of keeping certain American crafts going. I thought it was a notable in that I saw very little bullsh*t coming from a corporate office.
post #89 of 192
Alan C: Since I lived in Lubbock, Texas, for four years, I am of course very familiar with the Church of Christ. You might find this anecdote amusing: One my students at Lubbock that I became good friends with told me that his Baptist father had firmly enjoined upon him, "Son, don't marry a Catholic and don't marry a Church of Christer." He kept his father's commandment and married a Methodist girl, then some years later ditched her and went gay, gay, gay. While his parents were distraught, at least they didn't have to worry anymore about his marrying a Church of Christer.
post #90 of 192
http://www.paulfredrick.com/Catalog....FG3001L Paul Fredrick's website shows Allen Edmonds Park Avenue shoes in size 7.5 D, chili/brown color (hard to tell without a style number), for $99.50.  They also offer $10 off if a person signs up for their e-mails. Not sure if this should be in the buying and selling section, but seems like a good deal for the right person. Find a coupon code at www.jumpondeals.com. They have some listed for free shipping, $10 off, etc.
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