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Vass discontinuing US sales?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kabert, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     
  2. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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?
     
  3. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Well, if the ones that I've seen in person and in pictures are any indication, good. Ugly, long-snouted witch's shoes.
     
  4. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    jcusey,
    by 'worst case scenario' i meant that if vass were unale to find a u.s. retailer, undercutting would not be an issue.

    mike c.
    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.
     
  5. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    And if they do something like selling their shoes on their website for ridiculously low prices, they never will.
     
  6. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    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.  i wish mr. harris luck on finding a retailer. i was just proposing a worst case scenario option, that's all.
     
  7. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    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.
     
  8. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     
  9. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    And Chuck, thank you. Well said. Of course, I would expect the purveyor of the finest quality ties on the US market to understand [​IMG]
     
  10. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

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    Based on my experiences attempting to purchase Edward Green shoes at Saks, I don't think you want Saks selling Vass.  Not very confident that BG shoe guys would be skilled enough to sell Vass either.  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.  It would be deja vu all over again, as with Louis Boston.
    Grayson
     
  11. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I would be very suprised if vass could ramp up their production capacity in any significant way. It is not that easy finding the right people who are willing to do this kind of work. The people in the store look niether hungry nor unhappy, why shouldn't they continue to do what they do well, and enjoy the fruits of their labors in a reasonable way? they could sell their name to target and have people make plastic shoes for them in bangladesh and make a nice piece of money without having to work, if they wanted. good for them for keeping up standards.
     
  12. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    In order for a store to stock (such wonderful) shoes in this price range which, from all the investigating I have been able to do is ridiculously inexpensive for what you receive, they need to have a high traffic level of affluent male clients. The vast majority of shoppers at upscale general department stores such as Nieman Marcus, affluent though the shoppers may be, are women. Though women are volume buyers of mens shirts and ties, that is not the case with suits and shoes which are purchased primarily by the men themselves. Hence, with the criteria of affluence, high traffic, and male clients, you are left with a small selection of possible outlets, primarily Bergdorf Men's, Barney's, and Louis Boston. My suggestion to all of those of you who want the availability of Vass in the U.S. would be this: Each and every time you are in one of those three stores, say the following to your salesperson, "Do you carry Vass shoes yet?". If sufficient numbers of you do this and demonstrate both the power of SF and the desire for Vass, I can guarantee you that the word will reach these stores' buyers in short order. In this case, demand will equal supply.
     
  13. Alexis

    Alexis Senior member

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    You could be misinterpreted as saying, "Do you carry Bass shoes," you know, the MODERN CLASSICS? [​IMG]
     
  14. discostu004

    discostu004 Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    has vass considering doing a women's line? i see women's shoes that look like they cost $11 to make and a 3rd grader could make them and they sell for $495. think about the difference in (apparent to me at least) quality and workmanship between a vass/lattanzi etc and a manolo, gucci et al women's shoes. could be a cash cow@.
     
  15. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    The problem with that is if the store end up carrying them, will there be enough actual buyers out there, as opposed to those coming in and inquiring.....
     
  16. spatten

    spatten Senior member

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    I wish they would at least set up a mail-order service similar to the one which Crockett & Jones runs.

    I would love to own a pair(s) of Vass shoes - I am just stuck in the middle of Iowa. Getting nice shoes - other than A&E is getting to be a real pain..
     
  17. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

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    I was thinking about how the pricing of the shoes could be off. I don't think they are charging enough. For the qualilty of shoe that Vass offers, they should be priced in the Lattanzi/Kiton range.

    With goods on this level, it's all about perceived value. What is the perceived value of a Vass shoe? The $1K price range doesn't carry enough penache. Guys that buy shoes in the $1K+ range, don't care if it's 1 or 2K, as long as it looks good and feels good, and has the craftsmanship to back it up, they will buy it. The current prices may be devaluing the brand. They need to be more expensive.

    Just a thought.
     
  18. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

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    Dude, the reason I appreciate Vass is BECAUSE of the value proposition and the sensible pricing.  Your suggestion to raise the prices to artifically foster an image of exclusivity would not serve Vass well in my opinion.  Fact is, many if not most in this forum and outside are more discerning than that.  Should you insist on paying a premium on those Vass shoes you purchase in exchange for a feeling of exclusivity, I imagine Vass would welcome such a gesture on your part.
    Grayson
     
  19. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    So, will they make more money at the end of the day selling a few shoes at $1,000+ a pair or selling twice as many or more shoes at $650 a pair. And, all the while retaining the air of exclusivity that no doubt they want to protect and convey.
     
  20. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior member

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    I sure wish I were lucky enough to call $650 shoes cheap.
     

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