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Nick V. interviews Paul Grangaard, CEO, Allen Edmonds - Page 3

post #31 of 44
Im a 100% Alden/ C&J guy and have never tried on a pair of AE's. However, I have been considering AE's for a while now and this display by Paul has really pushed the pendulum towards AE's favor. I have been really impressed by your thoughtful replies and sincere interest in making a great product. Well done, sir. Oh, and how 'bout them Cardinals?!

Oh btw, I was in Minneapolis this past week and im so glad to be back in Cali. Wheew. No wonder the VIkings are considering leaving tongue.gif Its coooold
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by NAMOR View Post

Im a 100% Alden/ C&J guy and have never tried on a pair of AE's. However, I have been considering AE's for a while now and this display by Paul has really pushed the pendulum towards AE's favor. I have been really impressed by your thoughtful replies and sincere interest in making a great product. Well done, sir. Oh, and how 'bout them Cardinals?!

Oh btw, I was in Minneapolis this past week and im so glad to be back in Cali. Wheew. No wonder the VIkings are considering leaving tongue.gif

Funny coincidence. I'm in the Bay Area myself right now and a college buddy greeted me just this morning, a beautiful warm day, with the question of whether we weren't considering moving out here. I learned long ago (starting with my freshman roommate, who was from Orange County) that it's futile to debate the virtues of 4 seasons, including January blizzards, when it's 80 degrees and sunny. biggrin.gif

Thanks very much for considering adding AE to your wardrobe. If you'd like any suggestions, let me know. For starters, our Strand in Walnut, our Dalton boot in Walnut and our McTavish in either color are reallly catching a lot of attention these days.

Our Port Washington, WI employees were of course disappointed that the Brewers didn't make it all the way, but the Cards are playing too well. Tomorrow's game will be key -- if the Cards win again, it'll be really uphill for the Rangers.

Thanks again! Let me know how you like the shoes...

Be well,
Paul
Edited by AllenEdmondsCEO - 10/23/11 at 7:53am
post #33 of 44
Paul,

I commend you on your polite sales staff. Despite being one of the younger people to step foot in an Allen Edmonds store, they're all courteous and helpful. I contrast this to other vendors in men's clothing (not necessarily limited to shoes) where it's obvious the sales person is openly hostile because he/she thinks I'm wasting their time. Your sales staff is one of the reasons I'm going to be adding the Park Avenue and another shoe (possibly the Strand) to my wardrobe.

As a catalogue question, are there any plans for a lesser brogued shoe? The Strand is probably your least-brogued shoe but I find it to be a bit busy at times.
post #34 of 44
Paul,

I will jump through a brick wall for a revised version of the fifth street. I need it to be more of a balmoral boot and less of a chukka. As its shown in this pic, its nether. Of and of course, has to be cordovan icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

233
post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenEdmondsCEO View Post


Thanks very much for considering adding AE to your wardrobe. If you'd like any suggestions, let me know. For starters, our Strand in Walnut, our Dalton boot in Walnut and our McTavish in either color are reallly catching a lot of attention these days.

Been waiting for a tan boot - looking forward to owning the Dalton in walnut soon. I think the Bayfield would look great in this color as well, or possibly in one of the Rough Collection shades.
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadly7 View Post

Paul,
I commend you on your polite sales staff. Despite being one of the younger people to step foot in an Allen Edmonds store, they're all courteous and helpful. I contrast this to other vendors in men's clothing (not necessarily limited to shoes) where it's obvious the sales person is openly hostile because he/she thinks I'm wasting their time. Your sales staff is one of the reasons I'm going to be adding the Park Avenue and another shoe (possibly the Strand) to my wardrobe.
As a catalogue question, are there any plans for a lesser brogued shoe? The Strand is probably your least-brogued shoe but I find it to be a bit busy at times.
+1..as an AE customer for 17+ years, I don't recall having a bad customer service on any of their stores (retail, shoebank) or even the customer hotline. Staff are always helpful.As for future designs, I would love AE to add "austerity brogue" (ala C&J Drummond) in both balmoral and blucher options.
Paul, I (we) appreciate your participation on this fora.....Thanks
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenEdmondsCEO View Post

Alex - We stand behind our products and would be glad to address directly with you any quality issues you've experienced. As mentioned, we achieved our personnel increase (of which we're quite proud... most of our new employees had been laid off from other manufacturers and were in need of work) and still also achieved the highest quality scores in our history at Nordstrom. Our operations team has decades of shoemaking experience, so we're not naive and we provide excellent training.. It's a handcrafted manufacturing process with a great deal of human involvement, so we're not perfect either. We shoot for perfection, though, and work to fix it when our customers are not satisfied. As the Deutsche Bundespost used to say when I lived in Germany in the 1980s, "Ruf doch mal an." wobei ich meine, Sie brauechten einfach unsere Kundendienstabteilung anzurufen, um irgendwelche Probleme zu loesen.
Paul

Actually, I did call in when I had a heel problem with my recrafted shoes. And your customer service colleagues are certainly the friendliest and most helpful folks in the world (hope they get a nice end-of-year bonus)! Shoes were send in, but they came back with the same issue. By the time I received the shoes I had already moved to Europe, so I decided to pay a shoemaker here and get things fixed fast rather then going through the process again. Later I received two pairs of new AEs with the same issue, which I got solved locally for the same reason. Anyway, I am glad that the sole/heel issues were presumably temporarily and that future shoe purchases should not be affected by them.

P.S.: I certainly did not mean to criticize you for adding jobs. I am glad business is going well for you guys. smile.gif
post #38 of 44
Alex - Thanks for your reply and your comments on our people. I'll pass on your experience to our Recrafting team lead as well as our head of all production. It's possible the heel base used on the Recraft was too big for your size shoe, which can cause the bounce and unevenness. My apologies.

Nice posting -- Munich. Enjoy being there.

Best wishes,
Paul
post #39 of 44
Paul, I'm wondering if you could address the question I pm'ed you about a while back.

There has been some debate about whether AEs main line uppers are stitched in the DR or in your US factory.

Can you clear this up in either of the below threads:

http://www.styleforum.net/t/228354/are-all-allen-edmonds-uppers-made-in-the-dominican-republic/0_60

http://www.styleforum.net/t/267059/ae-park-avenue-major-heel-problems/0_60#post_4834400

I'm a big fan of your shoes and would like to think the work is done in the US.

Thanks and keep up the good work.
post #40 of 44
Greetings, Quadcammer - Sorry for the delay. I've been on the road a lot since your PM and focused on this thread initially. I responded to the question on the other thread.

Thanks for your interest and support.

Best wishes,
Paul
post #41 of 44

Thanks for this great interview.  I believe when AE is good, they are really good especially recently, with regard to design, construction and craftsmanship.  Occasionally I have had minor problems with AE products but frankly I've heard from many who have had the same experience with that OTHER "great American Shoe Company," ummm, Alden.  AE has always provided me with exemplary service.  I have the strands in both calf and walnut cordovan and they are magnificent.  Ditto the Dalton boot.  I lust after the 5th avenue dress boot which I think is vastly underapreciated and regret I didn't snap a pair up when they were on sale recently.  I have Park Avenues and love them.  As my taste has evolved I've gotten hooked by the beauty of handcrafted shoes and no doubt I'll branch out into Alden as well -- specifically I'm watching the Leffot special issues. So as a relative newbie and a newbie to this board I can tell you I'm addicted. Having said all that -- I like what I hear from Paul with regard to the business side of Allen Edmonds.  Although I really regret the fact that the first company owned store in the south is located in Charlotte, rather than here in Atlanta where we have a market of 6 million people. I have no doubt that decision was made purely on business/strategy decisions.  Without good business decisions all the companies we admire - Alden et al. will simply go away and it can happen quicker than you might think.  My personal wish list is that AE gradually offer more shell in more of their styles and develop some proprietary colors of their own.  They're bound to be close to ravello, whisky etc. but maybe just a bit different.  My personal pet peeve is that there is NO place in Atlanta that I'm aware of that one can try on and see even one pair of shell shoes.  Seriously.  None.  Not Nordstroms, not the Alden outlets (H. Stockton and others), not the local independent shops that carry AE and or Alden, none.  All have to be ordered.  I guess I need to schedule a day trip to Charlotte soon (4 hours away; ugh.)  Thanks for the interview.

post #42 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by countbaron View Post

Just read this interview by chance.
I can't understand how the replies have been so consistently positive. This guy is clearly just giving shallow anodyne answers that are right out of the PR department. He is clearly an 'all business' private equity guy that happened to drop into the shoe business, just as he could have dropped into whatever Westlake Hardware do.
This is not in anyway meant to be against AE, I have nothing to say about their shoes, as I have no experience of them or knowledge of their history etc- It is just that the answers all sound so fake that it looks bad
My favorite is
How would you describe the morale in the factory?
Excellent. We do a lot together—summer picnic, holiday lunch, raffle drawings, quarterly town hall updates etc etc

Picnics....biggrin.gif what about things that really matter like pay levels, medical insurance, job security, etc etc. Maybe it sounds OK to an 'American hear', but it sounds pretty fake to me
PS: This is also not meant to be against Nick V., I don't know what were the circumstances in which he conducted the interview (email, phone, live, etc) and of course it would be probably impossible to squeeze anything meaningful out of this eel

That sounds like a bit of a dickhead thing to say. Shouldn't you be out occupying the rose parade instead of posting on a men's fashion website?
post #43 of 44
pwhinson -- Happy New Year to you! 2012 is the year we come to the Atlanta market with a store (location chosen but still TBA) so your wish is our command. We're also expanding our cordovan offering and our proprietary finishing/colors. It seems we're on your wavelength. I hope to meet you at the store opening event (probably in the fall -- the location has some remodeling to do).

Thanks for your support of Allen Edmonds!

Best wishes,
Paul
post #44 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenEdmondsCEO View Post

pwhinson -- Happy New Year to you! 2012 is the year we come to the Atlanta market with a store (location chosen but still TBA) so your wish is our command. We're also expanding our cordovan offering and our proprietary finishing/colors. It seems we're on your wavelength. I hope to meet you at the store opening event (probably in the fall -- the location has some remodeling to do).
Thanks for your support of Allen Edmonds!
Best wishes,
Paul


Great news!  I've always thought Atlanta is pretty underserved with regard to AE & "that other Great American Shoe Company" Alden.  Apart from Brooks Brothers I know other source for Alden and for AE its pretty much just Nordstrom and a couple of local shops and neither carry much of a selection.  I look forward to visiting the new Atlanta store and having the opportunity to see the whole line.  By that time I expect more cordovan!  

 

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