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Allen Edmonds Appreciation Thread - reviews, pictures, sizing, etc... - Page 2170post #32536 of 7073510/24/13 at 11:12am
Styleforum Top Pickspost #32537 of 7073510/24/13 at 11:13amQuote:
Well, the point of having a business is to generate money and I think this is the right thing for companies to focus on. Without this focus, there would be no businesses left. I suspect, however, what you really mean, is that you want AE to continue delivering a valuable product rather than just a product. It is this characterization that I agree with you on.post #32538 of 7073510/24/13 at 11:14amQuote:I want them to continue to delivering a valuable product manufactured in the USAOriginally Posted by JermynStreet
Well, the point of having a business is to generate money and I think this is the right thing for companies to focus on. Without this focus, there would be no businesses left. I suspect, however, what you really mean, is that you want AE to continue delivering a valuable product rather than just a product. It is this characterization that I agree with you on.post #32539 of 7073510/24/13 at 11:26amQuote:
I went to the link the other day when it was posted. They don't ship to Canada, but I was able to buy 4 pairs at once and get them shipped for $3, as opposed to the monthly structure. Really nice guy running it.post #32540 of 7073510/24/13 at 11:28am
All very valid scenarios and maybe all true, to some extent - none of us know for sure. My 3-bits (already gave my 2), is that MW would realize HUGE growth in the AE brand, just by offering it in even a percentage of their 1000+ stores. AE is obviously profitable with online sales and a handful of banner stores, along with their few retail partners - nowhere near 1000 points of distribution. Even if they hit 500-700 MW stores, will the 'current' AE be able to keep up? Not without changes. Will quality suffer? We all hope not. Will they be able to continue Paul's MTO offer? I don't see how. Will they continue all the special webgems and shell offerings? Maybe that ties up resources for limited profit, that could be moved towards supplying their new distribution channel. Of course everything I'm throwing out there is purely selfish, wanting AE to remain the flexible, creative, quality company they are today. But from all the investment points made eloquently by members above, AE would only improve their bottom line by supplying their new masses. Making one of us a MTO is a nice gesture, but how much does it add to their owner's bottom line? Pumping out 5 times as many Strands and PAs does... It will sure be interesting to re-read all these comments in a year or two. We all might be reflecting on "the good old days when I got a custom pair of shoes made by that little company Allen Edmonds before they became so big".post #32541 of 7073510/24/13 at 11:46am
I 100% agree, the facts are the facts, however I think AE learned a thing or two from Cole Haan and J&M about the negative implications of going offshore, wouldnt you agree?
Both of their brands have suffered as a result, and I don't predict that would happen with AE.post #32542 of 7073510/24/13 at 11:49ampost #32543 of 7073510/24/13 at 11:52amQuote:Originally Posted by JermynStreet
Agreed. One more thing that is worth mentioning-look at the trajectory AE has followed since being taken over in 2008; before then, there was a lot more polished cobbler, dinky oxfords, no matching belts, and certainly a dearth of exotic cordovan colors. Change has been, if anything, kind to AE over its lifetime. I would argue that installing Grangaard has been the most valuable move to happen to AE in its history. But for the PE company buying AE, we might have not had the incredible stuff we see today. Secondly, I see no reason to believe that we will move production off shore. AE's China strategy is dependent on keeping production in America-without it, the Chinese would lose interest in the product and AE will lose out on an enormous market opportunity.
Looking at the totality of AE's offerings, they have a good amount of the low end of upper tier shoes pretty well covered; if anything, their most logical direction to increase growth in the shoe market is on their upper end, and I would not be surprised if we see an increased focus on that. As younger AE fans have an increasing income, AE would be smart to try to leverage the existing loyalty and goodwill it has with consumers to start making shoes on par with Alden, C&J, etc. I agree, that right now, AE's top end offerings cannot compete with these "better" brands' quality reputation, however, with a well capitalized company like MW behind them, AE might be better positioned to penetrate the high end market. I, for one, have been very satisfied with my AE calf shoes. As a result, I have ventured into AE's higher end cordovan offerings on more than one occassion. If AE made shoes that were finished as nice as Alden, C&J, etc. (AE would probably would need to up the stitches-per-inch, leather quality, and finishing), and my income rises, I would willingly and happily be willing to give AE a chance, and I'm a 28 year old lawyer. I see no reason why AE can't grow in the upper end while still dominating the entry-level high end footwear sector.
I never hide my admiration for Grangaard and think that whatever company buys AE would be wise to keep him on and raise his salary signficantly. The fact that he was able to increase market share in a decreasing household-wealth economy (far more dangerous than a decreasing household-income economy) speaks to his abilities to move a product.
Bottom line-either way, I think the future is bright for AE, and as long as they keep making good quality shoes, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and always be willing to try their newer offerings.
Ad astra, per aspera.
I'd agree with your theory of seeing more high end AE shoes in the future if it was Brooks Brothers buying AE. It's Mens' Wearhouse, though, which means we're likely to see a great increase in the AE non-goodyear welted line of shoes that will now be offered at MW. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though, as long as AE continues to maintiain the quality of its mainline and Independence line shoes and sells the higher end shoes at Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers and the AE stores.post #32544 of 7073510/24/13 at 11:54amI'm so frustrated by this discussion of the MW offer to purchase AE that I'm stepping away. The neat thing about a forum like this is that allows a community of interest to join in a conversation no matter where they may reside. It's hard to have a conversation, however, when so many people contributing to it have obviously not read the earlier relevant posts or ANY of the published news reports. I'm out. I still very much appreciate AE, but I'll leave this thread to people who prefer to send pictures of their feet to strangers than to engage in thoughtful discourse.post #32545 of 7073510/24/13 at 11:56amQuote:
Yeah, the guys in my local store said that's what they were doing.
A friend of mine went with me to the store and wanted to get a Neumok in cognac, or chili. Neither of those colors are a part of their regular custom shoe ordering portal, and so they got in touch with a big wig in Port W/the factory who said "We're not at the point where we can make that shoe in those colors. However, we're getting there." He went on to say that hopefully within the next year the expansion will be complete and they will be able to put any upper on any sole they manufacture.
pretty much you will be able to order anything you want in 6-8 weekspost #32546 of 7073510/24/13 at 11:59amQuote:Originally Posted by USAmade
Here's the deal for all those are concerned... If you read the article, it is clear that the firm that bought the company in 2006 has held onto it long enough, and Paul has done an incredible job improving the bottom line, and taking the company to record sales growth, and they want to grow even more. In order to finance the expansion of the factory (I heard they are upgrading their Port Washington facility to add a whole new line of production for custom orders, special requests, webgem's etc) they will need $$$.Quote:
I can verify this. I was having lunch with Paul this week and he complained that the factory has seen a significant increase in MTO boots in size 14, which has led to a spate of workers' compensation injuries from workers trying to lift them. The new MTO production line will include specialized equipment like this to help the employees work on future size 14 MTO's.post #32547 of 7073510/24/13 at 12:01pm
Yup, I agree and am not even mentioning or suggesting that they'd move production off shore. But will they continue MTO's and time consuming, troublesome shell offerings? If I'm a MW shareholder, sitting in a Board Meeting (wearing my MW Suit and Joseph Abboud shoes), do I care about the warm-fuzzy feeling SF members get from MTOs or the elusive cordovan? All I care about is the bottom line - move resources over to production lines pumping out the top sellers in our 1000 MW stores. That's where the profit is... I too agree that moving off shore and making AE something it isn't, won't work. But making all the custom put-ups that everyone likes to read about on SF will likely go the way of the dodo bird. Face it, whoever buys AE is going to overpay for it, and better have grand ideas on how to pay that back and show returns to shareholders.post #32548 of 7073510/24/13 at 12:12pmpost #32549 of 7073510/24/13 at 12:14pm
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