Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Shoes of Prey - Wholesale



Our custom shoe business is growing nicely so we thought we'd try out hand at offering a wholesale service to fashion retailers.

Retailers can design shoes for their stores using our online shoe designer, then if they order a quantity of each style and colour, and are happy to wait 2-3 months for delivery we can offer them a wholesale price which we believe is competitive with what similar shoe brands in the market are offering. The retailer gets the added benefit of being able to design shoes that complement the other products they stock in their store.

Our cost to manufacture multiple pairs of an identical shoe is less than the cost to make one pair of custom shoes. And ocean freight costs for a large quantity of shoes are less than 1/10th what we pay to post a single pairs of shoes directly to customers, hence being able to offer a good wholesale price.

We're not sure how this business will compare with our custom shoe business, but our theory is that our custom shoe offering is helping us build a good brand, which we can leverage to offer wholesale, ready made shoes. And while we make much less selling a wholesale shoe, in theory the volumes should be much higher.

We'd love to hear your thoughts, and if you know any retailers who might be interested please let us know as we'll be spending the next month or two speaking to as many retailers as we can.

6 comments:

  1. I have been excitely waiting for you guys to release details of this since it was mentioned in the Springwise article.

    I think its a great idea because you are able to piggyback on the marketing budgets, distribution networks and floorspace of established retailers.

    It will be interesting to hear of the creative ways that retailers will be using this service.

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  2. I think it is a great idea for extending your market, although I do actually think there should be a separate brand with its own pricing structure and minimum order quantities, to allow you to utilise the freight discounts. The great things is that you could quite easily market it to boutique high end fashion stores, as there is a limited number of them.

    If you use your branding retailers will be able to dream up some very ugly shoes and they will have your brand all over them. It isn't what I would want in a high fashion item.

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  3. I'm not sure if the comments are showing up properly, possibly something wrong with Blogger today. To comment on the comments:

    1. Marina - Thanks so much for the two retailer suggestions. We'll get in touch with Anna and Suzi over the coming days, cheers!

    2. Daniel - Thanks. We're interested to see the ways retailers want to work with us too. Selling ready made shoes that retailers design for their store on our website is what we'll be pushing for, as that's very scalable for us, but hopefully some retailers are interested in working with us on the custom side as well.

    3. David - Allowing retailers to design shoes and stock them using the Shoes of Prey brand does have some risks if they create ugly shoes, but we'll work with them on their designs and customisation is part of the brand. The benefits of using the same brand is that the media coverage that the Shoes of Prey is receiving will help retailers sell the shoes to their customers, and therefore buy more from us, and customers will get to know the Shoes of Prey brand in stores, and buy from the stores as well as our website. I think the pros outweigh the cons in using the Shoes of Prey brand rather than two separate brands, but you raise a good point which we should watch out for.

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  4. Genius, I love it! What a great way for retailers to upsell a piece to a whole outfit!

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  5. usually when a company like Asos,Topshop and some high-end boutiques -etc buy wholesale they use their logo but still buy from the company . Wholesale is used to get a cheaper price but mark up your item. But if their customers know where the item is coming from and the price you offer. Why would those companies buy from you.

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  6. Anonymous - your point is certainly correct for house brands owned by the retailer, but ideally we could build the Shoes of Prey brand into something people aspire to purchase and own, regardless of the custom design element. High end brands like Jimmy Choo or Christian Louboutin do this particularly well.

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