Originally Posted by RIDER
Hi Harrydog - How have you been? Just checked out this thread and I missed this drama when it was originally posted, but I thought I would set the record straight here. Even though it's old news now, and things have reverted, I am disappointed to see Leffot's name dragged around here like this, without any fact or knowledgeable commentary.
I am the one who insisted on the 'non-US' selling policy, and I alone. Last year Chay contacted me (we had communicated regularly on the re-development of the A/S Exclusive Range, and one thing led to another.....) and asked me to help introduce the new Exclusives to my clients here, and I accepted for a short term arrangement. The one caveat was that I didn't think there would be much potential in the US to develop a business and distribution thru independent retailers without a stock program, which they understood but were not in a position to invest in at the time. I agreed to finance the stock program and keep it going here from our warehouse, and handle all the requirements of the trade shows, travel, financing of terms to retailers, etc., etc.....all the normal work of a stock agency. However, those expenses require country specific price lists, like it or not. I'm not spending $40,000 a year in trade show costs, all the usual expenses to travel the US, taxes on inventory....everything, without being able to turn a profit on a distribution business here - not to mention something for my family in the way of a salary. I'm quite sure most here can appreciate the need to actually build a profitable business. If I was handling the financial commitment for them, then I was not going to allow a UK retailer to ship into the US on promotional prices, free shipping......no way to build a business, and not fair to put my family money at risk without protection. So, the memo went out eliminating the selling into the US to allow us to start to build the business here. It's normal procedure - just like Alden dealers here who are not allowed to ship into Japan. It's the way it is.
In the end, numerous circumstances involving A/S caused me to finally give notice that I was no longer interested in working with them here, and that we were returning the on-hand inventory to the UK and they can organize something here on their own for the future. Obviously, that allowed the shipping policy to revert to 'every man for himself', which is cool. Glad to see folks here getting a good deal on the shoes, as I always believed they represented very good value for the money. Also glad to see Julian and Sarah back in the game here, as my limited dealings with them were certainly honorable and I wish every family business much success.
However, I also felt the need to jump into this thread with an explanation, as I think it is patently unfair to have brought Leffot's name into this on speculation - especially since it is 100% false. And to wrap it up, if these conversations come up again with other lines here, you should note that rarely does a NYC retailer care at all about internet pricing and policies....they have enough trade and work to keep them busy without having to be concerned with such things. It's the suburban, smaller retailers who have a more limited trade and can sell, maybe, 18 pair of higher-end shoes a year to select clients who are concerned with organized pricing and limited distribution.