It does bother me that they are using inferior products like cardboard heels, lower leather quality compared other brands in similar price range. I like the company, but they seem to making shortcuts on materials. That is why I moved on to other brands like Carmina. I think they are relying on their reputation and getting away with the shortcuts.
Glad to know its not just me...because that's exactly how its striking me as well...I think they know the average consumer doesn't frequent these threads, and is therefore ignorant of what makes a good shoe for this price point...all the average consumer knows is that Allen Edmonds is a "great American shoe company....and by golly, they make top of the line leather shoes"... At least that's the company's previous reputation...but all this strikes me as HIGHLY duplicitous and even more insulting, as a semi-educated consumer...it would be one thing if their product was already almost always flawless...but judging by this thread, the shoe is already only worth considering if it can be had a tremendously deep discount or on sale...its clear that hardly any informed person considers their product worthy of paying full retail price for...and then, for them to cheapen the product even further, by taking such shortcuts, feels like even more of a slap in the face to someone like me, who has proudly paid full retail price for multiple pairs of shoes, despite them routinely increasing the prices year over year within the 4 years I've known about them.
And if they view such shortcuts as passable now, (cardboard building materials, cheap leather, Dominican Republic outsourcing etc) how do I know they won't wind up using paper mache to construct their soles, in the future eventually...or hey, why not use spaghetti noodles for the laces next...after all, all that matters is that the shoes can be found in bargain bins, and that whenever our quality control issues are discovered and brought to the fore, we make sure to bend over backward to leave the impression of exceptional customer service, instead of just delivering a quality product to begin with...If there's one thing that the recent Blue Bell Ice Cream debacle has taught me, its that: these companies will play that hardworking, down home, "aww shucks", innocuous, hometown, "American made" role for as long as it takes to get consumers' money. But behind closed doors, they'll be cutting every corner possible regardless of who it affects or endangers...as long as they feel no threat of being exposed. And they'll hide behind some professional business philosophy of LEAN or whatever else, but at the end of the day, it boils down to cutting corners, and giving customers as little as possible, for the money they pay.
And I know most people's thoughts are "hey, still better than Cole Haan and Kenneth Cole".... But at the price range at which AE is operating , so are Carmina, Alden and others. I initially thought AE's would carry me into the sunset as I enter my golden years... These days I'm starting to see them fading into the distant horizon in my rearview mirror; reluctantly accepting that they are nothing more than a fleeting brand by, of, and for opportunists seeking as many shortcuts to saving a buck as there are sizing dimensions on the brannock
Edited by harlequin782 - 9/19/15 at 8:17am