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RM Williams Boots - Everything You Wanted to Know - Page 303

post #4531 of 4703

I've owned many pairs of RM's & currently have 6 pairs of Craftsman boots in various types + a couple of the shoes that are made offshore.

Generally the construction of the off-shore shoes are good, but in my opinion, not the same as the hand crafted Aussie made product.

 

If they're not Australian & not as good, I simply could never justify a $100 - $200 premium on a pair.

 

I actually recently bought a pair of Kingaroy lace up boots (similar to a Craftsman, with lace up instead of side elastics) as I wanted something different. 

I wore them for one work trip & had to send them back. The design of the heel cup actually sliced inwards under the ankle bone, meaning that with every step, it cut into you, leaving quite painful bruises for about a week afterwards.

 

The great thing is that I only needed to make one enquiry and the RMW staff in Adelaide looked after me immediately and without challenge. I was offered the chance to swap them & I did - for an Aussie made Craftsman boot.

 

I do appreciate what they are trying to do to expand the range and potential market for the brand, after all you do need to continue to innovate to keep the brand relevant. I just think they've completely underestimated the value that their customer base places on the whole 'Aussie heritage' thing.

post #4532 of 4703
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1255 View Post
 

Is it just me or have prices gone up, again?

$550 for a number of boots that were only $495 on the RMW website when I last looked a couple of days ago.

 

Wow, what was once a working man's boot is getting out there for cost. I love them, but at greater than $500, they are still a basic Chelsea boot. Bloody well made, I'll grant you, but still a basic working / dress boot.

 

Absolutely agree. 

post #4533 of 4703
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWraith View Post

Was bound to happen when the company passed completely into foreign hands. A shame...

Good to see you back here, @grimslade.

This
post #4534 of 4703
Quote:
Originally Posted by meister View Post

This

Yep. Louis Vuitton wants to re-brand RMW as luxury items, hence the crazy price rises. It's just the beginning I'm sure.
post #4535 of 4703

Absolutely. RMW is on a one way trip to being intentionally transformed into a luxury brand to fit with the likes of Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.

 

General google searches for RMW + Vuitton indicate this disturbing trend. Results along the lines of "model wearing R.M. Williams backstage at Dion Lee's show" ... etc. 

 

The Australian stores, and staff are still great but the direction from head office, and the ownership would make any man sad. Perhaps RMW is to become synonymous with Louis Vuitton style products. i.e. Something you buy in a boutique.

 

I think this is quite interesting as what we have here is part of an ongoing debate between style versus fashion.

 

The problem with fashion items, especially ones staked by a luxury conglomerate is that the principle seems less "how can we provide the best quality shoe, with price to justify that", to becoming "here we have to portray ourselves as a luxury item which is exclusive, sure the quality is important, but luxury items mean exclusive and to be exclusive it needs to be expensive, so we have licence to pump up the price to the maximum the market can absorb, we'll do it carefully in stages, ... we are from now on a luxury fashion item".

 

No doubt these are quality shoes, and comfortable shoes. However, the cynical side of me remembers that half the company has been opportunistically sold by Ken Cowley, a former Rupert Murdoch News Corp Boss, to a global fashion giant and private equity type operation. To which people might say, well - good for them. That means better investment in factory processes, retaining staff and expanding, etc etc. I don't dispute that. However, this is a style forum, about classic menswear and what we are seeing here is a fundamental shift in RMW from domestically making and selling a certain style item, to internationally manufacturing and marketing a luxury fashion item.

 

Personally, I would rather buy from some other quality and style focused men's shoe brand, probably an English one that I won't name, that ... well. One that doesn't have laughable ambitions to becoming a boutique luxury fashion brand touted by runway models in a cynical marketing campaign ... that sells the idea that you too can buy into a rugged traditional Australian quality product by paying upwards of half a grand. Some of these shoes are no longer made in Australia anyway.

 

In line with this, we are seeing quite amazing price escalations. I find this disagreeable. In future I think there is better value to be found elsewhere. As someone said quite well before, RMW now demands quite a lot for a chelsea boot.

 

I still like RMW boots, but if the company was a person, I'd call him out on being a sell-out and socialise with someone else.


Edited by mojito33 - 8/19/16 at 7:35pm
post #4536 of 4703
^ +1 but Ken Cowley has since sold all of RMW to Louis Vuitton. It's now 100% in foreign hands.

There's always the Henry Baxter Classic Chelsea from Baxter boots. Still Australian owned and that model is still made in their Goulburn factory.
post #4537 of 4703

Ugg, I wonder how this will affect the price of getting your shoes resoled by RM? 

post #4538 of 4703
has anyone got photos of the kangaroo in craftsman after a few years of wear? the very first post suggest they stretch a bit - looking to see what they look like with the stretch.
post #4539 of 4703
Interesting article about RMW's history and the recent LVMH sale and refresh. Might be of interest to some of the regular readers of this thread...

http://www.afr.com/brand/afr-magazine/rm-williams-sets-out-to-sell-its-australian-story-to-the-world-20160214-gmu1ih

Article (Click to show)
R.M. Williams sets out to sell its Australian story to the world

What a chief executive thought of a brand before running it usually remains behind locked doors. But the new head of R.M. Williams, Raju Vuppalapati, is feeling generous. Sitting in the spartan back office of one of Australia's most respected artisan addresses – 5 Percy Street, Prospect, on Adelaide's outskirts – Vuppalapati talks about how he made regular business trips to Melbourne during the eight years he was based in Cape Town as a senior executive of Levi Strauss & Co.

"I'd wander through Melbourne Central [shopping centre] where there's an R.M. Williams store," he explains. "I used to walk in just out of interest and talk to the staff."

Vuppalapati would chat, browse and inhale the smell of leather and beeswax. Before being appointed CEO in late 2014, he'd purchased only one pair of RMs – black ones from the top-selling Craftsman range – and an oilskin coat. Yet the hooks were in. "I was very impressed but I was surprised I hadn't heard of the brand," he says. "The storytelling and the richness of the heritage was something I had to research myself. It was not visible as a consumer."

Lack of visibility seems a strange comment when you consider the feet the brand has shod. Australian prime ministers from John Howard to Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott have all worn the boots, which are also routinely given to American presidents as gifts. The President Boot was made for Bill Clinton in 1993, while former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was presented with a pair of RMs by Howard in 2004. A decade later, Abbott gave Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a pair of black RMs.

The young British royals, Kate and William, both rock RMs, as does Florence Welch of indie band Florence and the Machine fame. Long-time fan Hugh Jackman put his money where his feet are, becoming a shareholder in the private company late last year. And former cricketer Glenn McGrath, who recently joined the R.M. Williams board, says he bowls in his RMs at backyard cricket matches.

Therein lies the rub. RM boot tugs might peep out from under the trousers and skirts of world leaders and entertainers but 90 per cent of the company's sales are still in Australia, despite it exporting to 15 countries and having had a store in London for more than 25 years, as well as an e-commerce platform since 2000.

When the Singapore-based private equity firm L Capital Asia bought R.M. Williams from former News Corp executive Ken Cowley in 2014, paying about $110 million over the course of a year for full ownership, it marked the passing out of Australian hands of a quintessentially Australian brand, formed back in 1932. But if anyone expected outrage that R.M. Williams would belong to the Asian investment arm of a French multinational – L Capital Asia is a subsidiary of the Paris-based luxury goods conglomerate LVMH – and would be run by an Indian-born CEO whose corporate history is with an iconic American brand, they'd be disappointed.

The retail industry barely blinked an eye, mainly because of a prevailing view that the company's potential has never been fully tapped. "Actually, we're all cheering," says David Bush, industry consultant and former David Jones general manager of fashion. "Ken Cowley did a great job maintaining the brand. He took it from a sleepy little boots company to a far more contemporary look and feel with head designer Jonno [Jonathan] Ward. Now L Capital Asia has it, there's the feeling of big new horizons. It's like: 'Great. Finally.'"

Former Pacific Brands boss Sue Morphet​ says overseas money is required to upscale even the strongest Australian brands. "R.M. Williams is a great little company but family businesses, particularly Australian family businesses, don't have corporate resources," says Morphet, who chairs Manufacturing Australia. "Unless you get overseas or serious investment, it's just a slow, slow death.

"Until now, R.M. Williams has been a brand of discovery and that's fine. It was the sort of brand you stumbled across or found out about by word-of-mouth. Now it can be much bigger than that. When you go global, there's the risk of being swamped. L Capital gives this incredible Australian company the opportunity to strut its stuff on the coat-tails of experienced international operators."

It was exactly this that Cowley had in mind when he caved in to his wife's demands to shop the brand he'd rescued from administration in 1993, and retire. Cowley sold to L Capital Asia over interested local parties Oroton and Pacific Brands, arguing that the French had the deep pockets, luxury expertise and global contacts to take the brand to the world, thus fulfilling the ambition of his late friend, founder Reginald Murray Williams.

"I'm very comfortable knowing there's a good safe home for it if I climb the stairway to heaven," Cowley said in 2014, a few months before his 80th birthday.

L Capital elevated long-time R.M. Williams CEO Hamish Turner to the board and went in search of fresh talent to run its new acquisition. It didn't take Vuppalapati long to say yes to swapping Cape Town, and a 19-year career with Levis Strauss & Co – annual revenue $4.68 billion – for Sydney and a private Australian outfit with annual revenue of $128.2 million and reported profits of $2.2 million.

His ambition: to double production over the next five years from the current 200,000 boots a year and to sell all those extra boots through an expanded international footprint. Four new offshore stores will open this year: two in New Zealand, one in London and one in New York. Vuppalapati is adamant that the boots will continue to be made in Adelaide for the foreseeable future and that the brand's Australian ethos will not be diluted.

"This company is unique in that RM invented a pair of boots in 1932 that are still timeless," says Vuppalapati, tucking his RMs neatly under his chair. "So timeless, professionals can wear them, the cool crowd wants to wear them, the young kids are into them – as are presidents and prime ministers. How many brands can claim that?"

Not many, it's true. The question is whether its new owners really do have what it takes to parlay all that into a global brand. They aren't its first owners to state such an ambition, after all.

A visit to R.M. Williams' Adelaide factory at Salisbury on the city's outskirts is a step back in time. The company has produced its boots and apparel here since 1973. Before that its famous footwear was made at the back of Williams' parents' house, the aforementioned Percy Street premises, which now serves as a museum and store.

At Salisbury, some 300 workers produce roughly 700 pairs of hand-finished boots a day. Many of them have toiled here for generations. Head of production Michael Williams got his first pair of RM boots in 1972 to wear to school. He's worked here for 44 years; his wife and daughter work here too. Williams – no relation to the founder – rattles off the names of old-timers such as former chief bootmaker Don Tilmouth, who started in 1943, aged 14, and didn't retire until 2003.

Many of the boot-making processes are automated but almost all involve the human touch, from lasering the tanned hide and cutting and blocking the leather to hammering in the final nails that attach the sole to the boot. Over in the apparel section, the kangaroo hide plaited belts, of which about 3000 are sold each year, are still made by hand. Each belt takes at least four hours to finish, with the specialist plaiters making only three a day.

The factory reeks as much of authenticity as it does leather and glue. Stickers urging "No Tariff Cuts" and "Keep Jobs in Australia" decorate the machinery – including a Pfaff sewing machine labelled "Made in West Germany". The 100-year-old screw machine is believed to be the only one of its kind in daily working order. It's a slice of Australiana that would be difficult to recreate; one can only wonder how L Capital plans to retain this precious DNA as it pushes for scale.

We watch a boot sole trimmer ply his craft by intuition and feel. "In here it's no guard or guide," Williams says. "For that reason your left and right boot might never be totally the same." The sole trimmer cradles the still warm boot like a newborn as he feels with his hand how smooth he's got the edges. Williams signs off every pair of the top of the range Signature Craftsman boots, which retail at upwards of $1000.

Ask workers on the floor what they think of their new owners and the mood is reserved optimism.

"It's a shame it's out of Australian hands, but at least it will still be made here," grumbles one old-timer, adding: "At least Louis Vuitton won't go bankrupt."

Another remarks, "RM would have loved the idea of growing the business."

Michael Williams, who met RM on a number of occasions, agrees with the latter. "I think RM would be OK with it," he says. "When he was on the floor he'd listen intently to everything you told him. Even if he didn't completely agree, if something made sense to him, he'd usually say, 'OK then, do it'. He was passionate but he was also practical."

Indeed, Williams founded his company on the back of necessity. Born in Adelaide in 1908, he left home in his late teens and went bush to do stock work, including sinking wells in South Australia's Gammon Ranges for Aboriginal settlements. When a stockman named Dollar Mick drove a pair of mules into his camp one night in 1931, it changed the course of both their lives.

"My success began the night Dollar came in his mule buggy," Williams wrote in his 1984 biography, Beneath Whose Hand. "We were partners in what must have been the humblest beginning ever of what grew into a multimillion-dollar business." The pair made a few leather articles before Dollar announced he wanted boots. "He was practically barefoot and it was very important for a stockman to have suitable boots: they were the mark of professional status."

Elasticised sides had been invented in England in 1837 and they incorporated this feature, making their boots easy to pull on and off. They then struck on the idea of cutting each boot from a single piece of leather, blocking it into the shape of a foot while the tanned hide was still wet, then stitching the boot up the back to form a distinctive spine. This is what made their design unique.

So admired were Dollar Mick's boots that in 1934, in the full swing of the Great Depression, Williams placed an ad in Adelaide's rural newspaper for made-to‑measure, elastic-sided boots for sale. They cost 20 shillings, cash with order, with high, Cuban or low heels. Williams soon added leather jackets for drovers, saddles and packsaddles to his inventory. Early customers included cattle baron Sir Sidney Kidman.

Williams proved less of a businessman than a genius with leather and cloth, however, and the cost of raw materials often outstripped what he had in the bank. "He ran the company and his life from the money in his back pocket," observes historian and author Rob Linn in his 2006 company history, One Piece of Leather.

The bush entrepreneur was usually juggling multiple projects. In 1944 he started a national magazine, Hoofs and Horns. Williams also bred horses, drove cattle, helped establish the 100-mile Tom Quilty endurance ride and co-founded the Stockman's Hall of Fame in Longreach, Queensland, opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1988. Over the decades, he married twice and had 10 children.

When R.M. Williams Ltd listed on the stock exchange in February 1948, its balance sheet showed £132 in available cash, £20,000 worth of stock, debtors of £9200 and £45,355 in other assets. By 1955, Williams owed £15,000 in tax. Angered at the South Australian government over a property dispute, he sold his two homes, including a grand stone pile, Neidpath, on Adelaide's upmarket Strangways Terrace. He paid the debt, separated from his wife and moved to Queensland to run the company remotely.

By the mid-1980s things were again on the skids due to disagreements between significant shareholders. Williams called on Cowley, whom he'd met in 1972 at a quarter horse show in Penrith on Sydney's western outskirts. Cowley paid for legal advice, went over the books – and advised him to sell.

Kerry Packer and Adelaide entrepreneurial group Bennett & Fisher were circling, as was Laura Ashley Holdings in London after Cowley tipped it off that the business was for sale. Bennett & Fisher won out, paying $14 million for R.M. Williams in 1988. It came in with bold plans not dissimilar to those of L Capital today, including global growth, opening stores in the US and London and doubling boot production in 18 months.

Its plans were bigger than its budget and management skills, however, and by 1993, Bennett & Fisher was on the brink of administration. In a tale reminiscent of Dad and Dave, Cowley asked a mate at the Commonwealth Bank not to pursue receivership. Instead, he and Kerry Stokes bought Bennett & Fisher – then sold everything off except R.M. Williams.

Up in Toowoomba, Williams was doing cartwheels.

By this stage the mechanisation of the rural sector was virtually complete, as was the population shift from bush to city. R.M. Williams had little choice but to risk disappointing some of its outback fans by chasing city slickers. Williams had, in fact, already started this process, opening the company's first retail outlet in relatively urbanised Toowoomba in 1978, followed by flagship stores in central Adelaide and Sydney in 1979 and 1981 respectively.

Cowley stepped it up, appointing Jonathan Ward executive designer in 2001. A popular creator of gowns for Sydney and Melbourne socialites, Ward pushed the concept of "suits and boots", modernised the range and lightened the fabrics, putting elastane into its heavy moleskins. In order to keep the brand connected to its heartland, Cowley created the Longhorn Express, a semitrailer fitted out as a retail store. It still travels to big rural events and agricultural shows. In 1998, he also launched a new publishing venture, Outback magazine, overseen by Mark Muller.

Not everyone was impressed with the company's growing urban trade. "Who wants to wear R.M. Williams anyway?" wrote a disgruntled former fan on an online lifestyle forum in 2007. "People who have never even sat on a horse."

In 2003 Cowley reprivatised the company, buying out the other shareholders, including Stokes. He grew the urban outlets, taking the brand from 21 to 50 retail stores, including more stores in New Zealand and one in New York, which opened in 1999 to complement the existing store opened in London by Bennett & Fisher in 1989.

All in all, things went far more smoothly under Cowley, Rupert Murdoch's right-hand man in Australia for almost three decades. When Cowley took on R.M. Williams it was estimated to be worth $53 million. By the time he sold 49.9 per cent of the company to L Capital in 2013, the estimated value had risen to $120 million.

RM boots might have been designed to withstand Dollar Mick droving 1000 head of cattle from Alice Springs to Coober Pedy but today that's just a storied heritage selling point. If you want buzz in the digital age, you need ever-changing trans-seasonal appeal. That, in turn, demands not just greater volume but more choice; more models and styles to feed fashion pages and social media alike.

Traditionally, R.M. Williams has resisted cyclical trends, running about 15 models of boot in a collection. Today, there are almost 30 models and counting, including The Adelaide, the company's first women's-only boot which was released last year. The Rickaby, a new lace‑up men's model, hit shelves in March.

As we wander the Salisbury factory floor, Vuppalapati points to on-trend classic boot styles now made in a bewildering array of materials, from pewter treatment to burnished leather and contrasting colours.

It screams Burberry reinventing its classic beige trench in metallic, lace and leather versions under creative director Christopher Bailey, not to mention that other British staple since 1960, Doc Martens, which went after a new generation of buyers from 2004 with a wider range and younger patterns.

If the boots are being sexed up, the range in general has been pared back. One of Vuppalapati's early moves was to exit all licensing agreements, including those with companies producing homewares, eyewear and jewellery under the R.M. Williams brand. "We took out all the white noise," he explains. It's not so much that the line extensions have been a flop, Vuppalapati insists. Rather, he says, "if we can't tell a meaningful story around a product, we don't want to do it".

The decision emerged with the help of market research. "Our loyalists were saying: 'Give us what R.M. Williams has always done well." The brand's top four categories based on unit sales are boots – by a country mile – then button-up shirts, jeans and belts. The boots, average price $495, and other footwear account for 65 per cent of company revenue.

Vuppalapati insists that ending licensing agreements was not a money-saving exercise. "I'm not sure it saved us anything. It was more about not cluttering up the conversation," he says.

Other tweaks include changing the logo, from R.M. Williams The Bush Outfitter to R.M. Williams Est. 1932, Australia. The longhorn has been dropped from the logo but will still appear on products. In a nice twist, the font used for the refreshed logo is from one of the 1940s catalogues.

While 80 per cent of product, including all boots, is still manufactured in Australia, the rest of the leather goods and some clothing are produced in China, Italy, Pakistan and Morocco. Vuppalapati sees commitment to local manufacturing as a point of difference in a global market that looks increasingly uniform. "We want to proudly state our provenance and continue to invest in the factory in Adelaide," he says. "This is an Australian company, not a French company. It's headquartered here; it's run here and the boots are made here."

It's a brave move. Annual revenue generated by footwear manufacturing in Australia declined 3.6 per cent to $486 million in 2014-15, according to IBISWorld. The entire industry employs fewer than 2000 people, having been knocked by low-cost imports on the back of gradual tariff reductions. R.M. Williams is a relatively modest operation in terms of scale, accounting for 20 per cent of footwear manufactured in Australia. The biggest Australian boot producers have gone offshore, including the 1870 Hobart-founded Blundstone, which decamped production to Asia in 2007. It's on track to sell 3 million pairs of boots this year. Even Baxter – worn by Australian troops in Gallipoli – now sources a big chunk of the 90,000 boots it produces each year offshore.

R.M. Williams and fellow Adelaide brand, Rossi, remain the two big Australian bootmakers to still manufacture here. Rossi, formed in 1910, produces about 250,000 boots a year, slightly more than R.M. Williams. Mention tales of the tyranny of domestic manufacturing sans tariffs to Vuppalapati and he remains firm.

"Cost becomes an issue if you are cost-focused," he says. "If you truly believe in the craft and are able to tell a compelling story, consumers will buy into that."

To that end, Vuppalapati and his team have been busy consolidating the look and feel of the brand's 50 stores in Australia and New Zealand. Five Australian stores are being refurbished with new colour palettes and video installations, including footage from Adelaide of belt plaiting and boot making to inject more of a sense of craft and history into the point of sale.

A handful of domestic stores have been closed, including two in Sydney's CBD. Sydney's George Street store has just been refreshed and the company is looking for a new Sydney CBD flagship site. Three new stores will open this year; in Sydney's Bondi Junction, at Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast and in Toowoomba.

Overseas, the existing store in London will be refreshed, and a second store opened in west London. The New York store, opened in 1999 under Cowley's ownership, was closed in 2012 so the company could refocus on its Australian operations. In June, a new Manhattan store will open in the trendy Soho district. Two new stores will open this year in New Zealand, the company's third-largest market behind Australia and Britain.

Vuppalapati is also pushing to increase the brand's reach into US department stores. In late 2014 he did a roadshow to some of the country's biggest high-end department stores, including Bloomingdales and Nordstrom. "We took the 15‑ounce moleskins and explained how they're so tough, they're snakebite proof," he says. None have yet placed an order, but Vuppalapati reckons the vibe was good. "The Americans were amazed. They loved it. They found the brand intriguing."

Once Europe and the US are on track, R.M. Williams will turn its attention to Asian markets. Vuppalapati emphasises the company will be disciplined in achieving growth, citing Sweden as a textbook template. The licensed distributor there has had the business for about 30 years. He discovered it as a young backpacker in Australia, went home, quit his job and began selling the boots in Sweden out of his car boot.

"There's an acknowledgment we'll build the brand in a proper way; that we'll make this brand something every Australian can be proud about," Vuppalapati says. "RM was inspirational to so many people; we want to continue in that spirit."

Manufacturing Australia's Sue Morphet will be among many watching closely to see how all this pans out. "It will be exciting to see what L Capital does with it," she says. "In Australia we're more comfortable with brands like Bonds and Country Road. Australia isn't a luxury brand nation. To compete in that world requires a certain skill set."

James Stewart, a partner and retail analyst with Ferrier Hodgson, offers more cautious optimism. "Other than the boots, hats and maybe the odd 'roo skin belt, it's hard to see what in the R.M. Williams range is capable of being sold overseas as uniquely Australian," he says.

"Having said that, they're strong products and the label has fabulous brand appeal. L Capital is essentially pushing for R.M. Williams to become a global luxury brand. It's possible, but you have to remember that plenty of Australian brands have gone after global scale and come unstuck. It comes down to strategy and execution."

As to when L Capital plans to exit the business – it is a private equity firm, after all – its Singapore-based chairman Ravi Thakran is non-committal. The company also has swimwear brand Seafolly and sportswear label 2XU in its portfolio, fellow Australian brands it plans to take on a similarly global journey.

"As a private equity fund, our endeavour is to generate internal rate of returns in excess of 25 per cent, which translates to three to five times growth over a typical investment period of three to seven years," Thakran says. "We will look at an exit at some stage, but, at the same time, we are in no rush."

As L Capital puts its stamp on R.M. Williams, it's worth noting what Cowley's son, Matt, who spent nine years with the company, recalls Williams once telling him. "Never lose sight of where the R.M. Williams company has come from and where its roots are," Matt tells Linn in One Piece of Leather. "There is a reason and a need for every product in the bush."

The bush outfitter is going in for pewter but Vuppalapati insists the company's heart won't be lost. "We're not a fashion company. We're a company with purpose."
post #4540 of 4703
Just bought my first pair of RMW craftsman Chelsea boots, in tobacco suede. Was rather an impulse buy as I had a few hours to kill whilst waiting to collect the wife from the airport, and was slightly shocked at the price (GBP350). But, was absolutely blown away by the colour and how good they felt to wear, so hoping for many years of good service. Somewhat concerned that when any big fashion firm buys a 'heritage' brand then quality will usually suffer, but hopefully this hasn't kicked in yet...!
post #4541 of 4703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince of Paisley View Post

Interesting article about RMW's history and the recent LVMH sale and refresh. Might be of interest to some of the regular readers of this thread...

Thanks for posting the text as the online article requires a subscription. Interesting reading for sure.
post #4542 of 4703
Thanks for the article. A great shame it was lost to this country, though...
post #4543 of 4703
Quality has already. Not every boot or shoe is Made In Australia, so it is a matter of time when the Craftsman will be made else where. The clothing range is made mostly from overseas to. Just the logo remains now. Its a shame but this is what happens when someone who owned the company is getting on in life and wants to find a seller willing to buy it at top price.

At the end of the day, if you don't expand and grow the market then it was not worth doing business as the brand is not well known outside Australia.
post #4544 of 4703
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedBird View Post

Quality has already. Not every boot or shoe is Made In Australia, so it is a matter of time when the Craftsman will be made else where. The clothing range is made mostly from overseas to. Just the logo remains now. Its a shame but this is what happens when someone who owned the company is getting on in life and wants to find a seller willing to buy it at top price.

 

Weren't their profit margins meagre? I can't blame Cowley for flipping it for top coin - who wouldn't?

post #4545 of 4703

Does anyone know how much I'd be able to sell a brand new pair of RM Williams Henley boots for (size 11)? Also, is eBay the best place to go in order to try and sell them?

http://www.bootsonline.com.au/boots/henley-b538-made-to-order/

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