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Visited John Lobbs factory shop in Northampton...

Omega

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Perhaps like many people on fashion forums, I heart a lot of about John Lobbs and its factory shop in Northampton. Unfortunately, I never had an opportunity to be near Northampton, but this Friday I was heading nearby and decided to drop in.
The location of the factory was quite interesting - a quiet urbanised narrow street. The entrance is far from being impressive (it is not Harrods for sure), old doors which, perhaps, got thicker from being painted too much. And the shop itself is quite tiny. Well, I did not expect it to be this way.
I was shown by a lady where to look for shoes of my size, but the choice of colours was not huge, though she told me they had very little stock. When I checked shoes, they were not that impressive - all were rejects and I could see the faults. One pair of shoes which I more or less liked was £425. I concluded I could buy Vass shoes without defects for a price close to this or order in Brazil.
Perhaps, I am not JL person... Will see other shoe makers next time.
 

flipster

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Originally Posted by Omega
Perhaps like many people on fashion forums, I heart a lot of about John Lobbs and its factory shop in Northampton. Unfortunately, I never had an opportunity to be near Northampton, but this Friday I was heading nearby and decided to drop in.
The location of the factory was quite interesting - a quiet urbanised narrow street. The entrance is far from being impressive (it is not Harrods for sure), old doors which, perhaps, got thicker from being painted too much. And the shop itself is quite tiny. Well, I did not expect it to be this way.
I was shown by a lady where to look for shoes of my size, but the choice of colours was not huge, though she told me they had very little stock. When I checked shoes, they were not that impressive - all were rejects and I could see the faults. One pair of shoes which I more or less liked was £425. I concluded I could buy Vass shoes without defects for a price close to this or order in Brazil.
Perhaps, I am not JL person... Will see other shoe makers next time.


the prices used to be a lot better. But in the last 1/1.5 yrs they've become a lot more expensive.. same for C&J.
 

Merlino

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Originally Posted by Omega
Perhaps, I am not JL person...

I know what you mean, I've concluded that I am not a JL person. The only pair I'd really like to have are these Winchesters. Other than these, I find JL's offerings too old-fashioned. My preference lies more in, for example, Corthay.
 

HEARTLESS-531

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I've heard the same thing about Lobbs factory store. Kinda like they don't want you to be there. Exact opposite experience at Edward green - just down the street. EG was busy and full of energy. If you email them they will tell you what shoes they have in your size. Yeah, pics would have been nice. Thanks though
 

SimonC

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Originally Posted by HEARTLESS-531
I've heard the same thing about Lobbs factory store. Kinda like they don't want you to be there. Exact opposite experience at Edward green - just down the street. EG was busy and full of energy. If you email them they will tell you what shoes they have in your size. Yeah, pics would have been nice. Thanks though

Are the EGs discounted?
 

Tidybeard

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The problem with the Lobb factory shop is that they are hugely suspicious of anyone they don't know (they hate Ebay sellers) and that can give off a strong negative vibe.

Once you've been there a few times and bought some shoes (ideally in your own size), they lighten up a bit and become a lot more friendly. In one of my early visits I was asked if I was Ascot Shoes because I was looking at shoes that weren't my size! (I'm not Ascot Shoes, by the way
).
 

theyare

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Originally Posted by Tidybeard
The problem with the Lobb factory shop is that they are hugely suspicious of anyone they don't know (they hate Ebay sellers) and that can give off a strong negative vibe.

Once you've been there a few times and bought some shoes (ideally in your own size), they lighten up a bit and become a lot more friendly. In one of my early visits I was asked if I was Ascot Shoes because I was looking at shoes that weren't my size! (I'm not Ascot Shoes, by the way
).


How does that seller end up with so much inventory if they are so suspicious and aware of him?
 

Tidybeard

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Originally Posted by theyare
How does that seller end up with so much inventory if they are so suspicious and aware of him?

Very good question - I guess he/she has people buying on his/her behalf.

I dropped into the sale last year and noticed that about three weeks later Ascot Shoes had 30-40 pairs on ebay that were in the sale (boat shoes, loafers, rubber soles, etc.). They were marked up pretty significantly from the shop sale price. I'm pretty sure Lobb wouldn't have let anyone walk out of the sale with 30-40 pairs in various sizes.

It's an interesting position. I'm sure Lobb aren't too bothered about the odd person making £100 on a pair of shoes that don't fit them but I can understand them being frustrated about people effectively setting up businesses and making a living competing with their own supply chain.
 

Jangofett

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Originally Posted by Tidybeard
Very good question - I guess he/she has people buying on his/her behalf.

I dropped into the sale last year and noticed that about three weeks later Ascot Shoes had 30-40 pairs on ebay that were in the sale (boat shoes, loafers, rubber soles, etc.). They were marked up pretty significantly from the shop sale price. I'm pretty sure Lobb wouldn't have let anyone walk out of the sale with 30-40 pairs in various sizes.

It's an interesting position. I'm sure Lobb aren't too bothered about the odd person making £100 on a pair of shoes that don't fit them but I can understand them being frustrated about people effectively setting up businesses and making a living competing with their own supply chain.


I note the same point about Ascot Shoes. They have tons of Lobbs plus some Prestiges. Some other sellers are also selling brand new R Lobbs too.

But I dont' see why JL would be upset about sellers like Ascot. I mean, just jack up the price to Ascot's and sell it on the internet if they aren't too pleased with internet sellers. If not, sell it at whatever price they do now and should be thankful if their stocks are cleared.

Anyway, despite Ascot's high prices, I note that after a while, they do reduce the prices to even start off at 1 pound!
 

Holdfast

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Originally Posted by Jangofett
But I dont' see why JL would be upset about sellers like Ascot. I mean, just jack up the price to Ascot's and sell it on the internet if they aren't too pleased with internet sellers. If not, sell it at whatever price they do now and should be thankful if their stocks are cleared.

I would assume they dislike their brand image getting screwed around with by being sold on eBay. They'd probably prefer to control who gets to sell their goods, to maintain a certain image.

However, you're probably right that if they really, really, really didn't want that to happen, they should close the factory shop (or make it price-prohibitive to resell). It's not a black/white question, more a matter of how much slips through to the internet. A few pairs here and there isn't an issue; vast regular quantities really would start to affect the brand.

I really must get round to visiting the factory shops. I still can't quite believe I live so nearby and haven't been yet.
 

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