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Church's Appreciation Thread

Reiver

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I believe that Church's prices are simply crazy, they are going to lose much of their potential customers. Even though for a few years I don't wear formal, I used to like some of their more casual models.

Some examples of their deranged prices:

I bought my Ryder chukka boots three years ago for 150 € at Farfecth, now they cost £ 620 (without VAT) on their web site...


Last Christmas I was considering a pair of penny-loafers, such as the Church's Pembrey, that now cost £650 (without VAT) on their site.



To be on-trend, they decided to convert what used to be nice pair of shoes in an atrocity, which is being offered at the modest price of £ 750... :mad:



In the end, after some research I finally bought the Cheaney's Dorking penny-loafers, which are almost identical to the Church's Pembrey except in their price: I paid £125 without VAT) during their sale.


To be fair, although the price I paid had a considerable discount, the actual difference still enormous for shoes that are not so different in terms of quality or even their last: Cheaney's is an awesome brand. The next image is a side-by-side comparison of the Church's Pembrey and Cheaney's Dorking.

Cheaney's Dorking on my feet:

I love those Ryder boots, great colour. Not for £620 though!
 

shoefan57

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I love those Ryder boots, great colour. Not for £620 though!
They are great boots. My view is this: Justin Fitzpatrick was wrong in many of his criticisms of Church’s shoes, eg his criticism is their use of polished leather and build quality. I’ve owned Church’s shoes since the 1990s. Quality did not deteriorate under Pravda and polished leather was used a plenty under John Church’s ownership. Where I do agree with Justin is that the “Pradaisation” began after their take over with the withdrawing of some classic models and after about 10 years the introduction of some hideous designs. I agree too that with this price hike, the “ Pradaisation” of Church’s is complete. It’s what I always feared would happen because big fashion houses are one trick ponies - they only know one way to run a business. They are now indeed “ a fashion brand that makes some classic shoes “ as Justin had put it. Cheaney are good but IME not the quality of old Church’s. I already shop at Edward Green and C&J and will now do so exclusively. A very sad day for those of us who rooted for Church’s shoes for so long.
 

Reiver

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They are great boots. My view is this: Justin Fitzpatrick was wrong in many of his criticisms of Church’s shoes, eg his criticism is their use of polished leather and build quality. I’ve owned Church’s shoes since the 1990s. Quality did not deteriorate under Pravda and polished leather was used a plenty under John Church’s ownership. Where I do agree with Justin is that the “Pradaisation” began after their take over with the withdrawing of some classic models and after about 10 years the introduction of some hideous designs. I agree too that with this price hike, the “ Pradaisation” of Church’s is complete. It’s what I always feared would happen because big fashion houses are one trick ponies - they only know one way to run a business. They are now indeed “ a fashion brand that makes some classic shoes “ as Justin had put it. Cheaney are good but IME not the quality of old Church’s. I already shop at Edward Green and C&J and will now do so exclusively. A very sad day for those of us who rooted for Church’s shoes for so long.
Absolutely agree with that. My post Prada ownership Church’s are very good and I have at times seriously considered others.

Now that the prices are so high I agree that you are better if spending that bit more for Edward Green which are superior.

I don’t even think Church’s could justify being slightly more expensive than Crockett and Jones really which they were prior to this price rise. I think Church’s better shoes are roughly on a par with C&J
 

stephenaf2003

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Some classic SF rationalization going on in this thread :rotflmao:. It’s one of the reasons I personally love SF; great entertainment, and real insight into understanding my own self delusion, by recognizing it in others.
 

JUAN MANUEL

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They are great boots. My view is this: Justin Fitzpatrick was wrong in many of his criticisms of Church’s shoes, eg his criticism is their use of polished leather and build quality. I’ve owned Church’s shoes since the 1990s. Quality did not deteriorate under Pravda and polished leather was used a plenty under John Church’s ownership. Where I do agree with Justin is that the “Pradaisation” began after their take over with the withdrawing of some classic models and after about 10 years the introduction of some hideous designs. I agree too that with this price hike, the “ Pradaisation” of Church’s is complete. It’s what I always feared would happen because big fashion houses are one trick ponies - they only know one way to run a business. They are now indeed “ a fashion brand that makes some classic shoes “ as Justin had put it. Cheaney are good but IME not the quality of old Church’s. I already shop at Edward Green and C&J and will now do so exclusively. A very sad day for those of us who rooted for Church’s shoes for so long.
I dislike profundly polished leather / binder leather or anything similar with that plastic coating. I understand that is usefull in rainy places, I even own a couple of LWB for rainy days.
 

PairOfDerby's

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Some classic SF rationalization going on in this thread :rotflmao:. It’s one of the reasons I personally love SF; great entertainment, and real insight into understanding my own self delusion, by recognizing it in others.
There's a person on every forum that posts a lot and says very little.
 

ChrisHS

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Ridiculous pricing, a pair of Nevada leather Chetwynds now retails for £750, I've got a pair, bought new in a sale, a couple of years ago for £300. They're good shoes, but no way are they worth £750
 
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PairOfDerby's

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Church’s price hike: cobblers or canny?
If we’re going to see demand-driven inflation anywhere, then the luxury segment is an obvious place to look.

© AP

April 16, 2021 1:45 pm by Claire Jones and Jamie Powell
A bombshell in the world of men’s shoes hit Friday, via an email from shoe retailer Herring:
We have just been informed that Church Shoes Ltd have decided to increase their prices to reposition their brand at a higher price point. As a simple example, in the UK the price of Consul, a black calf, toe-cap Oxford will increase from the current price of £495 to £720.
Yes, you read that right — north of £700 for a pair of shoes from a luxury brand that some customers have complained has seen quality wane since Prada Group’s takeover in 1999.
The price hike might not be as mad as it sounds.


It looks to us as though Church’s might be trying to take advantage of a concept economists refer to as Veblen Goods. While demand for most goods falls as the price rises, the opposite is the case with Veblen Goods. The idea being that the higher the price, the greater the cachet of the good, and the more people covet it. Think expensive street fashion label Supreme, prestigious private schools, Air Jordans or err, the Financial Times. (If you want a wider index of these sorts goods, we recommend inflationista favourite The Chapwood Index for a more comprehensive list.)
In the current climate, positioning yourself as a Veblen Good would make a lot of sense. One of the most profound aspects of the economic impact of the pandemic is that a lot of people at the top of the wealth pyramid have done much better than those further down. They’ve also had a lot more to spend on consumer durables, what with there not being so many opportunities to dine out or holiday.
No surprise then that, in the early stages of the pandemic, we saw demand for (and the prices of) luxury staples like Hermes’ Birkin Bag rocket. Given the nature of the recovery, perhaps what’s more surprising is that more high-end fashion manufacturers haven’t followed suit.
We’re still not sure it will work in Church’s case though.
For one, people will need to return to the office before they begin to consider splurging £720 on dress shoes. And even then, if they’re not returning as often to the office, there’ll be less need to upgrade, or resole, the shoes you do have. There’s also plenty of other Jermyn Street shoemakers out there in the high-hundreds bracket. We’re thinking of the likes of Crockett & Jones, Cheaney or Trickers — all storied shoemakers which now sell at more competitive price points.
Perhaps Church’s has read the room and is just abandoning its traditional market. A quick scan of its website shows a variety of styles that you might not associate with a Northampton shoemaker, including high-platform studded Oxfords, perforated leather finishes and even, yes, sneakers. If it’s the end of the era for the dress shoe, perhaps it’s best to attack a new market in the hope it can replace a drop in sales from its old one. It seems it might be cannibalise or die for the cobblers.
Prada Group did not respond to a request for comment by time of publication.
 

JUAN MANUEL

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A couple of days ago I recieved a pair of Church's Chetwynd.Thanks to Herrings heads up for Church's price hike I snag a good price for these beauties. Fantastic shoe! The brogueing very neatly performed.

In the last picture the shoe with the original thicker laces is compared with the one with thinner laces which I prefer.

IMG_4982.JPG
IMG_4983.JPG
IMG_4985.JPG
IMG_4987.JPG
IMG_4989.JPG
 

Goofy

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I wonder weather they will continue having their outlet store in my area.
It seems contradictory that a brand looking to boost its image by introducing absurd price hikes while lacking any significant quality improvement should keep their outlet stores. The largest retailer in my area already ceased doing business with them and all remaining stock is deeply discounted. These price increases feels desperate to me.
 

PairOfDerby's

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I wonder weather they will continue having their outlet store in my area.
It seems contradictory that a brand looking to boost its image by introducing absurd price hikes while lacking any significant quality improvement should keep their outlet stores. The largest retailer in my area already ceased doing business with them and all remaining stock is deeply discounted. These price increases feels desperate to me.
Loro Piana, Gucci, ermenegildo zegna, Christian louboutin etc all have outlet stores at Bicester along with Church's. Many of them, including Church's sell discontinued and subs at outlet stores.
 

Goofy

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Loro Piana, Gucci, ermenegildo zegna, Christian louboutin etc all have outlet stores at Bicester along with Church's. Many of them, including Church's sell discontinued and subs at outlet stores.
However Church’s doesn’t have the kind of following that those brands do. Gucci and Prada also have outlets at the same location and there’s always queues awaiting entry to those stores whereas the Church’s outlet never does.
But hell, if that strategy worked for Burberry it may work for them as well.
 

Mr Knightley

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I have just been catching up with the recent discussion about the 'repositioning of the brand'. Oh dear.

As you recall, I have been looking to replace my brown Ajax 03 Grecian style slippers. I thought I would have a look at the website to see whether things had changed on the slipper front. They have - the standard Grecian design now sells at £420! If you want an Albert slipper like the Sovereign it is £590. No browns though.

To replace my Diplomats would now cost £750.

But the interesting thing is that if you look at the Church's part of the Prada site, the heritage and history are featured strongly. If you go straight to the Church's site, the classic shoes and heritage are much more hidden??
 

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