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Thread: Allen Edmonds Acquired by Famous Footwear's Parent Company

  1. #21
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    Well this sucks, hopefully they will keep making their shoes in the USA with the same quality of materials and construction, but I think history tells us there is a good chance that will not be the case.

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    Super Moderator hornsup84's Avatar
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    OMG I better start making my own shoes from human skin to keep quality consistent NOW.

    While I'm not a shoe industry analyst, like apparently everyone on this thread seems to think they are, here are my two cents who dabbles in investing and works in related fields:

    As someone said earlier, AE has been changing hands tons and this comes up each time it has. If I recall correctly, all of the recent owners have been private equity firms... i.e., people who don't give a flying F about shoes and only care about the bottom line. While the current buyer is (I think) the first strategic buyer (vs. financial buyer), and not the ideal one in terms of potential for possible decrease in quality, I wouldn't jump ship because you see some ice in the water yet. Where Caleres is currently in the men's footwear market, it would actually make a lot of sense in terms of diversification for them to maintain AE as a niche/bump up in quality relative to their other brands, as that is where AE has its foothold in the market (US brand, made in US, etc.). Lastly, if they wind up changing AE like some other brands, it won't happen overnight.

  3. #23
    Varsity Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Isn't it the current thinking that male consumers are increasingly conscious about buying quality clothing and apparel? If so, it would make sense that a shoe giant would want a part of that higher end of the market. It seems they have enough low and middle end brands, so why would they torpedo a brand which has everything the market seems to want right now?

  4. #24
    Varsity Member armedferret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocco View Post
    Isn't it the current thinking that male consumers are increasingly conscious about buying quality clothing and apparel? If so, it would make sense that a shoe giant would want a part of that higher end of the market. It seems they have enough low and middle end brands, so why would they torpedo a brand which has everything the market seems to want right now?
    Because the shareholders demanded higher profit margins?

    Sale to a publicly-traded company can either be a boon or the final nail in a proverbial coffin.

    I hope desperately it's the former. Time will tell, but I'm likely to make a few quick purchases of things I've had my eye on, and then wait it out for a bit to see what develops.

  5. #25
    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    TBH I am not all that concerned that this change in ownership is going to result in drastic changes to AE's business model or products. AE's value as a brand lies in its reputation for quality and for continuing to make its products in the US when virtually all other men's dress shoes are made overseas. AE's primary customer base is older, affluent businessmen and professionals who buy AE shoes because they are and always have been the name in American dress shoes. Many of these customers have likely been buying the same shoes from AE for decades.

    If you strip those things - the American-made label and the reputation for quality, longevity, and consistency - from the AE business model you will very quickly strip AE of most of its value as a business.
    Ben

  6. #26
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    AE had prided itself on shoeing the Presidents of the United States for some time. They are a premium brand, and their fan base consists of people who want high quality. If Caleres debases Allen Edmonds, they will destroy everything that makes Allen Edmonds a valuable asset. If they reduce quality, they will alienate what is currently a loyal customer base. Hopefully they are intelligent enough to recognize that. The Allen Edmonds name stands for something. What good is acquiring the name if they are going to $hit all over it? Of course they might anyway, but I'm trying to be optimistic.

  7. #27
    Varsity Member armedferret's Avatar
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    I remain skeptical if only because both Johnston and Murphy and Florsheim were both held in similar regard to Allen Edmonds at one time. Then Caleres (however it's spelled) came along and....well, now we discuss "vintage" Florsheims because the new stuff just doesn't cut it.

    I truly hope nothing changes at AE. But I'm also not going to let myself be surprised (however I'll still be very disappointed and saddened) if it does, based on previous post-purchase changes from the same parent company.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Charles View Post
    If Caleres debases Allen Edmonds, they will destroy everything that makes Allen Edmonds a valuable asset. If they reduce quality, they will alienate what is currently a loyal customer base. Hopefully they are intelligent enough to recognize that. The Allen Edmonds name stands for something. What good is acquiring the name if they are going to $hit all over it? Of course they might anyway, but I'm trying to be optimistic.
    That loyal customer base is relatively small. Put A&E in malls, playing up the history and the name and charge the same money for cheaper shoes sold to more people = better margins for parent company.

    There is a chance they'd maintain it as a made in USA heritage brand, but history suggests that is unlikely, though the current political environment is something of a wild card.

    If I was a betting man, I'd wager on a small line of made in USA shoes remaining at a premium price point, and the bulk of the brand pushed offshore.
    Donít call what your wearing an outfit. Donít ever say your car is broke.
    Donít sing with a fake British accent. Donít act like your familyís a joke.
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  9. #29
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    They were owned by Private Equity groups, not companies that operated other shoe companies

  10. #30
    Varsity Member Shade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Polyester III View Post
    I bet they will start making shoes out of cardboard and feathers.
    hahahaha thank you!

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