Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kabert, Apr 6, 2005.
Vass could be the crown jewel for Ron Rider at Franco's.
Having seen Vass at Sky Valet, I would think a retailer would be advised to pick 2 of the lasts and stick with those, say the U-last and the Peter or P2 last. Much beyond that and it gets confusing to the consumer (and perhaps to the salesstaff too). Perhaps they should follow the Berluti route and only recommend people with certain width feet to certain lasts. For example, I would think that the U-last is best fit on those feet narrower than E-width.
Harris; have you talked with Adam Derrick or Saks. With former Bergdorf CEO Ron Frash now at Saks, they're looking to up quality and exclusivity. Maybe this is an opportunity for Vass.
in a worse case scenario, how would vass lose money by selling their shoes on their own website? if they can sell them for US $500 in their store, what would stop them from selling them for the same price online? they are not making anything off the price of the plane ticket.
Handmade shoes, at least in Vass' case, doesn't seem scaleable. I couldn't image what would happen if they get hit with 500 internet orders.
Also, it looks as if they are spending all their resources expanding their wholesale end rather than the retail side.
I understand what you're saying, but I don't entirely agree. Yes, it's probably too much to ask that a salesman be familiar with every single Vass last, in addition to all of the lasts used by the other manufacturers that a shoe store carries. However, two lasts, especially given how much the various Vass lasts differ from one another, is really too restrictive. At the very least, I'd carry Budapest, P2, and U.
They have to do this of necessity. Like Berluti, Vass doesn't do widths in their different lasts, which means that if one last isn't the proper last, they have to switch to another one.
A cardinal rule of retail is that the manufacturer ought not to undercut his retailers. You cannot sell Vass shoes at retail in the United States for $500. If Vass sold the shoes for $500 on their website, why on Earth would any US retailer be willing to bring them in?
Well, if the ones that I've seen in person and in pictures are any indication, good. Ugly, long-snouted witch's shoes.
by 'worst case scenario' i meant that if vass were unale to find a u.s. retailer, undercutting would not be an issue.
what would happen if 10 stores across america suddenly put in orders for 50 of each model? i don't see a difference between that and internet sales. if vass wanted to sell their shoes on their own website, they could simply list the quantities they have available like other sites do. if they run out of something, you can't order it, or you can put yourself on the waiting list.
And if they do something like selling their shoes on their website for ridiculously low prices, they never will.
if vass chooses to sell their shoes at $500 in store, then obviously $500 is not ridiculously low to them.
so if they sell the shoes online fro $500, they get to keep 500.
if wilkes bashford sells the same pair for $900, how much do you think vass makes from that? not more than $500.
don't get me wrong. Â i wish mr. harris luck on finding a retailer. i was just proposing a worst case scenario option, that's all.
Something to consider....
VASS is not a 55 acre factory in Shanghai. I don't know what their daily production capability is but I would be willing to bet that it is quite fixed.
With a handmade product the only thing worse than no orders is an order for 5000.
My hope for Vass, though it goes against my own interests as a customer is that more people come to understand the value of the shoes they produce and the price goes up so that Vass is at the limits of their production capability and makes top dollar on every pair.
Why? They deserve it. How many makers put the kind of work into a shoe that they do? You might or might not love their styles but I can't imagine how they could MAKE the shoes better.
Grab a copy of Vass' shoe book if you don't have it - great read and it really makes you appreciate what it is they do with each pair.
Go get'm Andrew.
To answer Matadorpoeta's question:
Vass Budapest sells plenty of shoes in their store, they are not at all interested in setting up internet sales straight from the manufacturer. And if they were, they would most likely price the shoes so as to not undercut their retailers.
But any web sales in the US would be handled by Gabor and I. We would have to have to set up the site, stock the shoes, and handle all the service/shipping/returns, and it most certainly would not profitable to do so at Budapest prices. It would also damage our chances of retailers later offering them at a fair price.
And Chuck, thank you. Well said. Of course, I would expect the purveyor of the finest quality ties on the US market to understand
Based on my experiences attempting to purchase Edward Green shoes at Saks, I don't think you want Saks selling Vass. Â Not very confident that BG shoe guys would be skilled enough to sell Vass either. Â They rely on the customer driving the sale and the customers of these two stores are more interested in fashion, and instant gratification, and the esoteric qualities of Vass would go right over their heads. Â It would be deja vu all over again, as with Louis Boston.
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