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The "New" Allen Edmonds?

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  • 3piece
    replied
    Originally posted by mebejoseph View Post
    You think so? If so, why would a big conglomerate buy them out?

    According to Wikipedia, AE grew from 18 stores in 2007 to 78 in 2017. You can estimate sales in 2006 as $100 million US from the information in the Wikipedia article, which is when they re-tooled their factory and also when they sold out for $100 million. (Good timing, right? Just a year or so before the economy started to slide).

    You can find some sources that estimated AE revenue at $175 million in 2016, and at that time AE's president said that after almost failing during the recession, they had consistent growth from 2010 through 2016. And that's when Caleres purchased AE.

    From my own personal experience, I can say that I only recently became a fan of AE shoes and I've purchased five pairs in the last year. I probably purchased two of them because of really low sales prices, but still would have purchased three. One pair I paid full price for and the other two were on sale, but not at those fire sales prices. I became a fan of the quality and customer service after becoming unhappy with what seemed like a quality decline in J&M shoes over the years and others in that price range--AND--I talked AE up enough that a couple of my co-workers also purchased pairs for the first time. To me, J&M left the slightly upscale market and I found AE to be a great replacement at a higher price that was not unreasonable after being adjusted for inflation. (It's been odd to me that a lot of the brands like J&M, Kenneth Cole, and Bostonian seem to have maintained prices in the $100-$200 range for many years--some about two decades--they can only do this by cutting costs, right? And my observation is that the quality has gone down on those brands. As to the truly upscale brands like Alden--I had zero experience with them, so I can't comment.)

    So, I'm not sure that the market left AE. It seems like they were on a growth curve when they sold out in 2016. I can't find separate revenue figures for after that, but there's no reason to believe that sales went down.

    Based on what I've seen, the new AE is hoping to maintain the current customer base AND entice new younger buyers, in hopes of growing even faster. Given that younger buyers are generally dressing less formally, AE is going to need to show their shoes in less formal settings with chinos and jeans and such instead of suits and dress trousers.

    And from my own personal experience again, I've followed that trend, even though I'm older. In the last year I've started wearing my dress shoes with jeans and chinos.

    As far as quality--well, I was in a Nordstrom Rack (my wife was shopping) yesterday and looking at J&M, BM, Kenneth Cole, and lots of other shoes. Despite the minor imperfections I've found in my AE shoes, they are miles ahead of the cheap looking crap I saw in that store yesterday.
    I think you're right. The old lineup (Strands etc) made them tons of money so they raised the price. And now the new lineup is priced at the sweet spot.

    Leave a comment:


  • mebejoseph
    replied
    Originally posted by 3piece View Post
    Plot twist: It's the market which left first.
    You think so? If so, why would a big conglomerate buy them out?

    According to Wikipedia, AE grew from 18 stores in 2007 to 78 in 2017. You can estimate sales in 2006 as $100 million US from the information in the Wikipedia article, which is when they re-tooled their factory and also when they sold out for $100 million. (Good timing, right? Just a year or so before the economy started to slide).

    You can find some sources that estimated AE revenue at $175 million in 2016, and at that time AE's president said that after almost failing during the recession, they had consistent growth from 2010 through 2016. And that's when Caleres purchased AE.

    From my own personal experience, I can say that I only recently became a fan of AE shoes and I've purchased five pairs in the last year. I probably purchased two of them because of really low sales prices, but still would have purchased three. One pair I paid full price for and the other two were on sale, but not at those fire sales prices. I became a fan of the quality and customer service after becoming unhappy with what seemed like a quality decline in J&M shoes over the years and others in that price range--AND--I talked AE up enough that a couple of my co-workers also purchased pairs for the first time. To me, J&M left the slightly upscale market and I found AE to be a great replacement at a higher price that was not unreasonable after being adjusted for inflation. (It's been odd to me that a lot of the brands like J&M, Kenneth Cole, and Bostonian seem to have maintained prices in the $100-$200 range for many years--some about two decades--they can only do this by cutting costs, right? And my observation is that the quality has gone down on those brands. As to the truly upscale brands like Alden--I had zero experience with them, so I can't comment.)

    So, I'm not sure that the market left AE. It seems like they were on a growth curve when they sold out in 2016. I can't find separate revenue figures for after that, but there's no reason to believe that sales went down.

    Based on what I've seen, the new AE is hoping to maintain the current customer base AND entice new younger buyers, in hopes of growing even faster. Given that younger buyers are generally dressing less formally, AE is going to need to show their shoes in less formal settings with chinos and jeans and such instead of suits and dress trousers.

    And from my own personal experience again, I've followed that trend, even though I'm older. In the last year I've started wearing my dress shoes with jeans and chinos.

    As far as quality--well, I was in a Nordstrom Rack (my wife was shopping) yesterday and looking at J&M, BM, Kenneth Cole, and lots of other shoes. Despite the minor imperfections I've found in my AE shoes, they are miles ahead of the cheap looking crap I saw in that store yesterday.

    Leave a comment:


  • LesserBlackDog
    replied
    Or some colored shoe polish/cream.

    Leave a comment:


  • mebejoseph
    replied
    Originally posted by skewl View Post
    I'll second the folks who feel like they got seconds quality at "first" prices (quotation marks because they were deeply discounted, pretty much to the point of seconds pricing) I got a pair of brown McAllisters during the 40% off sale and I noticed one of the perforations hadn't been removed, so I popped it out myself and noticed the underlying material was bright white, so it stuck out like a sore thumb. It hides under most pants, and I'm afraid they don't have a replacement of similar quality in stock so I haven't returned them, but all things considered I figure I got what I paid for, though had I paid full price I'd be pretty ticked off.
    [MENTION=14138]skewl[/MENTION]: You can probably fill it in with a brown sharpie.

    Leave a comment:


  • skewl
    replied
    I'll second the folks who feel like they got seconds quality at "first" prices (quotation marks because they were deeply discounted, pretty much to the point of seconds pricing) I got a pair of brown McAllisters during the 40% off sale and I noticed one of the perforations hadn't been removed, so I popped it out myself and noticed the underlying material was bright white, so it stuck out like a sore thumb. It hides under most pants, and I'm afraid they don't have a replacement of similar quality in stock so I haven't returned them, but all things considered I figure I got what I paid for, though had I paid full price I'd be pretty ticked off.

    Leave a comment:


  • 3piece
    replied
    Originally posted by Jmeyers View Post
    But I guess the reality is, if they remove themselves from the market they currently serve, someone else is bound to attempt to fill it at one point or another.
    Plot twist: It's the market which left first.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jmeyers
    replied
    I guess we are all in a wait and see mode for now. Out of the 15 or so dress shoes/nice boots I own, all but 3 are from Allen Edmonds.

    But I guess the reality is, if they remove themselves from the market they currently serve, someone else is bound to attempt to fill it at one point or another.

    Would be too bad though for a company that has been around for that long.

    Here’s to hoping for the best.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Leave a comment:


  • Alex.C
    replied
    I have to say, I'm pretty concerned. As a guy who really has to wear B width shoes, I have very few options. I also share [MENTION=17354]mebejoseph[/MENTION] 's concern regarding the wait time on the phone. I know it seems trivial, but I called this week about getting a price adjustment for a pair of firsts that clearly should have been seconds, waited on the phone for 25 min, and then talked to a person who clearly didn't know much about shoes, a far cry from previous phone interactions.

    That being said, I grabbed a pair of brown country grain Leeds seconds and they were in pretty good condition and might be the most comfortable pair I've bought. Only time will tell how far down market they slide.

    Leave a comment:


  • mebejoseph
    replied
    Originally posted by Rawfull View Post
    From here and a few posts I’ve seen on other sites there definitely seems to be something happening with AE that isn’t good. That being said the Mcallisters I ordered during the recent 40% off are spotless and reminiscent of what I used to expect from AE. Maybe I just got lucky?
    Yeah, those are beautiful!

    Leave a comment:


  • Rawfull
    replied
    The "New" Allen Edmonds?

    From here and a few posts I’ve seen on other sites there definitely seems to be something happening with AE that isn’t good. That being said the Mcallisters I ordered during the recent 40% off are spotless and reminiscent of what I used to expect from AE. Maybe I just got lucky?

    Leave a comment:


  • hornsup84
    replied
    Seems like they got rid of their Italian bit loafer that was excellent... may need to try to grab another pair before they ghost from stores as well... and have that be the last AE shoe I purchase, bc most of this stuff looks like rubbish now. Very unfortunate that all the concerns everyone had re: the buyout seem to be coming true over time.

    Leave a comment:


  • 3piece
    replied
    Originally posted by Dougie View Post
    I kind of feel like I'm piling on here, but I was just looking at the new site. I clicked on the 'Dress Shoes and Boot's link under the new Shoes dropdown. The third shoe listed is the (I think) new LGA Wingtip Oxford, which I changed to Brown before clicking through to the item. Check out the first picture of the shoe, which is the profile:

    https://www.allenedmonds.com/shoes/m...r=3352#start=1

    I bought a pair of Strands Seconds that came and had that kind of creasing/wrinkling on the side piece and had considered returning them. Now they're advertising that type of craftsmanship on page 1 of the main site lol.
    Wow! Welcome to the new normal!

    Leave a comment:


  • Dougie
    replied
    I kind of feel like I'm piling on here, but I was just looking at the new site. I clicked on the 'Dress Shoes and Boot's link under the new Shoes dropdown. The third shoe listed is the (I think) new LGA Wingtip Oxford, which I changed to Brown before clicking through to the item. Check out the first picture of the shoe, which is the profile:

    https://www.allenedmonds.com/shoes/m...r=3352#start=1

    I bought a pair of Strands Seconds that came and had that kind of creasing/wrinkling on the side piece and had considered returning them. Now they're advertising that type of craftsmanship on page 1 of the main site lol.

    Leave a comment:


  • DocDave
    replied
    Yeah, when I read the email my initial thought was skepticism. I couldn't help but think the email / message was prepping us for a two level company. Kind of like what DocMartens is doing. One shoe at a lower price point, made in China. Another shoe at a higher price point, made in the US. I guess we'll have to wait and see what shakes out.

    Leave a comment:


  • JBarwick
    replied
    My Bruno Magli's are cemented and retail is in the $400s. While I wouldn't pay that, I paid $200 for them and would happily buy them again for that price. Joe has praised BM as well.

    The new line may fit in and maybe they are trying to grab the Gucci bit loafer crowd?

    Leave a comment:

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