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The Allen Edmonds MTO Thread - Page 613

post #9181 of 9368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dario65 View Post

Probably true. But once some of us find an MTO company in our price range, with shoes that fit well, that look good.... there will be no going back to AE. I get that it's not their business model and they'll do better with the Nordstorm crowd. And the MTO contingent is likely too small. I would argue that MTOs could be a tremendous growth area if somebody would make it easier for us. I believe you could get a lot of hard-to-fit people over 30 to invest in at least one pair of customer shoes if the process were simpler, better communicated, and appeared to be less risky. 

This is basically where I am now.
post #9182 of 9368
Quote:
Originally Posted by peppercorn78 View Post

Natty MTO Dundees!



Having a shot at this would get me back to AE.
post #9183 of 9368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dario65 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by peppercorn78 View Post

I think the longer they go without an MTO program, the more they like life without an MTO program. There's a reason why companies like CJ and Carmina charge a 50% premium and other companies like Alden don't do them at all. I would be surprised if AE brought anything permanent back at this point, and there are other brands who will make anything you want with higher quality construction and finishing for not too much more.

AE is great at what they do, but the era of the MTO is over for them.

Probably true. But once some of us find an MTO company in our price range, with shoes that fit well, that look good.... there will be no going back to AE. I get that it's not their business model and they'll do better with the Nordstorm crowd. And the MTO contingent is likely too small. I would argue that MTOs could be a tremendous growth area if somebody would make it easier for us. I believe you could get a lot of hard-to-fit people over 30 to invest in at least one pair of customer shoes if the process were simpler, better communicated, and appeared to be less risky. 

 

We watched individual GMTOs here generate 25,000$ or more in sales so a national campaign with a few variations would seem capable of being both profitable and endearing if efficiency is brought to the table...it was a wonderful crapshoot before, specification mistakes were common / usually tolerable.

 

I am 100% spoiled by the former program, with mid twenties of pairs built to my personal preferences.  With size 15, that is unthinkable.

 

Still, I've spent $700 in last 30 days or so on 4 Shoebankers and a clearance, 2 Freiburgs, 2 Bentons and a Bellevue.  Not as special as MTOs, but with collection built, they are fantastic "filler" as I already know I love the fitment of the Bentons and Bellevues, and lusted after the $107 Freiburgs for months.  I expect AE seconds will always be part of my shoe game. :)  

 

My sub $200 seconds are as enjoyable and get as many complements as my MTO favorites. 


Edited by jzrhwinnj - 3/11/16 at 7:02pm
post #9184 of 9368
They could just take some of the most popular MTO's from this thread and the appreciation one. There's been a bunch of one-offs that people went crazy over when pics were posted. They could pick a couple every quarter, make them a web gem, and rake in the cash.
post #9185 of 9368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunstealer73 View Post

They could just take some of the most popular MTO's from this thread and the appreciation one. There's been a bunch of one-offs that people went crazy over when pics were posted. They could pick a couple every quarter, make them a web gem, and rake in the cash.

There was some talk of this from Paul about a year and a half ago, and apparently the First Ave boot was introduced in response to the popularity of Eagle County MTOs back in 2014.

However, I don't think they're as interested anymore. The idea doesn't seem to fit their current direction.
post #9186 of 9368
I think what derailed it were all the minut details. Switching materials and soles is one thing broguing welts stiching and lasts are another
post #9187 of 9368
Quote:
Originally Posted by bespoken pa View Post

I think what derailed it were all the minut details. Switching materials and soles is one thing broguing welts stiching and lasts are another
I don't disagree, but lasts and patterns were specifically mentioned by Paul when he introduced the program. They should have just said no returns on MTO, like many other manufacterers do. And hell, Pep's austerity brogues are a thing of beauty that show how well it could have worked, but they still messed up a basic element (the sole).
post #9188 of 9368
Quote:
Originally Posted by naspratt View Post

I don't disagree, but lasts and patterns were specifically mentioned by Paul when he introduced the program. They should have just said no returns on MTO, like many other manufacterers do. And hell, Pep's austerity brogues are a thing of beauty that show how well it could have worked, but they still messed up a basic element (the sole).

...and added a sockliner, which led me to eventually unload them, as fit was off. Maybe returning them would have saved me from having to take a 160$ loss, but I just couldn't bring myself to, as they were so well-done.

The were frustrating moments, for sure. But even Vass routinely gets stuff wrong, big things like welt and sole choice, so it's not just an AE problem. So does Carmina. I ordered a chukka with victory soles and they ended up dainite. I think it may just come with the territory.
post #9189 of 9368
I would also guess the more one changes a design the more the likelihood of errors goes up. I only ordered two pairs and while my daltons were a little jacked up they offered me %50 refund so I was good
post #9190 of 9368
I sincerely hope Paul understands how valuable things like the MTO program are from the perspective of ambassadorship and keeping the fingers of Allen Edmonds on the pulse of their customers and the market overall...
post #9191 of 9368
Quote:
Originally Posted by M635Guy View Post

I sincerely hope Paul understands how valuable things like the MTO program are from the perspective of ambassadorship and keeping the fingers of Allen Edmonds on the pulse of their customers and the market overall...

My impression was that he did, I can also see how a few over zealous customers could potentially become annoying. There are people out there who complain everytime a stich is off and there is some small issue.
post #9192 of 9368
Quote:
Originally Posted by bespoken pa View Post

My impression was that he did, I can also see how a few over zealous customers could potentially become annoying. There are people out there who complain everytime a stich is off and there is some small issue.
+100. I would be willing to bet there were a small number of people who tried to nickel and dime every purchase, even with the incredibly generous terms of the offer. It can't have helped that they honored clearance and sale prices.
post #9193 of 9368
Quote:
Originally Posted by naspratt View Post


+100. I would be willing to bet there were a small number of people who tried to nickel and dime every purchase, even with the incredibly generous terms of the offer. It can't have helped that they honored clearance and sale prices.

 

Well, there are certainly ways you could structure the business terms to ensure that you aren't completely throwing away profit (for example, I wouldn't honor clearance prices if I were setting up the program).  I'd set a reasonable MTO fee, open the gates for options even wider and use it as an incubator for design directions.  I'd feature a design of the month on the Allen Edmonds blog (I'm not sure if they have one - they need to give t some life to it) and a design of the year - maybe they do a limited production run on the design with some other benefit to the winner.  I'd use the blog to tell more of the story of the company (a more personal, deeper and more interactive version of what is under "Our Story" on their website) and tell the stories of their customers (could definitely see some featured nutjobs...er, I mean enthusiasts here).

 

If Allen Edmonds begins to recede and become more corporate, they risk losing touch with what is sure to be a quickly-evolving market over the next ten or so years.  Catching up when you get behind things like that is extremely hard to do.

 

Maybe it is because I have a role similar to this for my company, but I see such a strange combination of gap and opportunity here...

post #9194 of 9368
Quote:
Originally Posted by M635Guy View Post

I'd feature a design of the month on the Allen Edmonds blog (I'm not sure if they have one - they need to give t some life to it) and a design of the year - maybe they do a limited production run on the design with some other benefit to the winner.  I'd use the blog to tell more of the story of the company (a more personal, deeper and more interactive version of what is under "Our Story" on their website) and tell the stories of their customers (could definitely see some featured nutjobs...er, I mean enthusiasts here).

They do have a blog, but I don't think it's ever really reflected on the main web site, which is a shame, since that's where they have designer chat, Paul's (infrequent) posts, and style ideas. It seems they're having difficulty transitioning, or maybe they're just more focused on Instagram (which I personally don't care for much) to drive blog views.

Love the featured MTO idea; sort of a poor-man's version of the Parson design contest with less outré ideas. Especially since they could design web gems around it - charge retail or close to it for a limited edition makeup. Hell, they have enough from the MTO thread to keep it going a few years even if they don't bring the program back, during which time they could figure out how to market it efficiently. A large number of people have expressed regret at missing one or several of the make ups done through GMTO.
post #9195 of 9368
I think the biggest issue with the MTO/GMTO program is that it ended up requiring a lot of time to manage and it isn't material to their business. The makeups that came through SF couldn't have been more than a few hundred thousand dollars in sales and I would assume (especially since GMTOs were only done on SF) that represents a large percentage and probably even the majority of their GMTO/MTO sales. For a company doing $100m in revenue and growing at 10-20% a year that's just not important. You'd rather focus on developing new models to sell in stores or working on new channel partners.
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