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Where did Johnston & Murphy go wrong?

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
It's a shame that if you speak to most American males acquainted with style and ask about Johnston and Murphy they will all tell you the same thing...

Johnston & Murphy used to be one of the best shoes on the market. They were a businessman shoe and were great quality and value. Over the past few years it's not the same. I was discussing this scenario with a reputable shoe salesman in Atlanta and said what's your take on J&M. He said the same thing everyone else on SF says "they used to be a great shoe...not so much anymore."

That's honestly a shame. J&M used to stand for a great american shoe company but no longer. Where did they go wrong??? What needs to be done to bring this company back??? I find Allen Edmonds, the company which is now the top American shoe company rather boring.
post #2 of 73
I think the simple answer is they shifted focus to the mass market and slowly left the smaller niche market of top quality shoes. I haven't considered J&M as a credible source of shoes, but they seem to be doing quite well selling Made in Mexico sub $125 shoes at mall stores. I have held some of the made in the U.S. aristocraft shoes, and they are things of beauty. It's a shame, but a business decision that seems to have served them well. Talk to the average guy, and if he is aware of J&M at all, he'll probably describe their shoes as top shelf, top quality and expensive shoes.
post #3 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnatty8 View Post
I think the simple answer is they shifted focus to the mass market and slowly left the smaller niche market of top quality shoes. I haven't considered J&M as a credible source of shoes, but they seem to be doing quite well selling Made in Mexico sub $125 shoes at mall stores. I have held some of the made in the U.S. aristocraft shoes, and they are things of beauty. It's a shame, but a business decision that seems to have served them well. Talk to the average guy, and if he is aware of J&M at all, he'll probably describe their shoes as top shelf, top quality and expensive shoes.

Good point, but like you said it's a shame. I bought a pair of their shoes not made in the USA (everything else I owned from them before hand was either made in Italy or USA and great stuff) but anyways the pair of shoes not made in the USA/made in Mexico are awful! They are just like kenneth cole/Macy's brand shoes. I will never buy another pair of J&M shoes not made in the USA. It will be tough to go back to buying J&M>
post #4 of 73
The point after J&M were purchased by Genesco. Genesco is a company more focused on marketing brands that are aligned with fashion. Nowadays a J&M catalog resembles the state-side version of a Tyrwhitt catalog.

How about a pair of J&M with your pair of Dockers? Same parent company.

http://www.genesco.com/johnston_and_murphy


In the hierarchy of men's dress shoes in terms of quality it goes as follows:

Florshiem > Bostonian > J&M > Allen-Edmonds > Alden
post #5 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoe City Thinker View Post
The point after J&M were purchased by Genesco. Genesco is a company more focused on marketing brands that are aligned with fashion. Nowadays a J&M catalog resembles the state-side version of a Tyrwhitt catalog.

How about a pair of J&M with your pair of Dockers? Same parent company.

http://www.genesco.com/johnston_and_murphy


In the hierarchy of men's dress shoes in terms of quality it goes as follows:

Florshiem > Bostonian > J&M > Allen-Edmonds > Alden

+1
post #6 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoe City Thinker View Post
In the hierarchy of men's dress shoes in terms of quality it goes as follows: Florshiem > Bostonian > J&M > Allen-Edmonds > Alden
The "less than" symbol is <. Just quibbling.
post #7 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoe City Thinker View Post

In the hierarchy of men's dress shoes in terms of quality it goes as follows:

Florshiem > Bostonian > J&M > Allen-Edmonds > Alden

What? I thought some old Florsheim shoes were good. I've read elsewhere on here that Florsheim shoes were once good like J&M, if better.
post #8 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoe City Thinker View Post
The point after J&M were purchased by Genesco. Genesco is a company more focused on marketing brands that are aligned with fashion. Nowadays a J&M catalog resembles the state-side version of a Tyrwhitt catalog.

How about a pair of J&M with your pair of Dockers? Same parent company.

http://www.genesco.com/johnston_and_murphy


In the hierarchy of men's dress shoes in terms of quality it goes as follows:

Florshiem > Bostonian > J&M > Allen-Edmonds > Alden

I own a few pairs of the old made-in-America shoes, and they are as good as it gets for benchgrade shoes. I remember a colleague who only would buy J&M shoes.

But related to the Genesco comment above, I vividly remember being in a J&M store one day and the salesman excitedly telling me about this new CEO who had come from a consumer products company and who had a vision of expanding the company and making it a more mainstream brand. They have successfully done that and killed quality in the process.
post #9 of 73
Where did they ever go right?
post #10 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by westinghouse View Post
Where did they ever go right?

A long time ago (20+ years) they were as good as anybody. I know it is hard to believe from seeing the crap they put out today.
post #11 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by it's ok ma' View Post
What? I thought some old Florsheim shoes were good. I've read elsewhere on here that Florsheim shoes were once good like J&M, if better.

Old florsheims were better than any RTW US brand these days. They do not make shoes anywhere near that quality anymore. They started branching out with lower end diffusion lines, and lost their catchet. They're a textbook case in why a luxury brand has to protect that image above all else.
post #12 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmdsimpson View Post
A long time ago (20+ years) they were as good as anybody. I know it is hard to believe from seeing the crap they put out today.

Yep, thats what I've heard. And it's amazing how anyone knowledgeable about the fashion industry will say that. Also, to the poster who said they had a colleague who used to only wear J&M, my dad was telling me the same thing. And he said the guy only wear J&M and it was such a big deal. The name brought quality and stood for AMERICAN QUALTIY! That's the one thing thats frustrates me the most. There are so many great shoe companies nowadays such as AE and Alden but Alden is expensive and AE is not very stylish (IMHO) just great quality. J&M once stood for great quality and style. Something not very common with American product but common with Italian shoes i.e. Ferragamo.

Bring back the old J&m!!!!! I want the rep back!
post #13 of 73
Genesco= big corporation
big corporation= need for higher profits
need for higher profits= cost cutting
cost cutting= lower quality
lower quality = crap product!
post #14 of 73
It's called out-sourcing...
post #15 of 73
Same thing happened to Brooks Brothers...
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