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

  1. #61
    Super Moderator hornsup84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sideswipe View Post
    Paul G is weighing in at Ask Andy, fwiw. (Page 3 of the thread on the Trad forum if the link doesn't work)

    https://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/...00#post1814300
    Good to see/read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hornsup84 View Post
    Good to see/read.
    That is good to read. And thanks for your comments about how AE as one of two made in the USA dress-shoe brands is a different proposition to back in the day when there were 10 such brands, or even when they were down to just five. Let's hope they at least continue to produce a core set of shoes in the USA (and that that core is larger than J&M's current core - both because of variety of offering and because the small number of shoes J&M still makes in the USA is why those shoes are so expensive and so rarely go on sale).

    By the way, I hadn't known that Rancourt's boat shoes are the ones that AE used to make. That's really good to know that they worked together to avoid letting people go. I wish more companies did that. I always think that laying people off - at least for economic reasons - should always be a last resort; never a first one. I have never bought a shoe from Rancourt & Co, but I am tempted to do so now. Mind you, I like the look of their dress shoes, and especially the boots, more than the penny loafers and boat shoes. How come nobody ever talks about Rancourt for more formal shoes? I hear often about their loafers and boat shoes, but never about their dress-shoe collection. (Similarly, I only ever hear Frye talked about for boots).

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    Rancourt's heritage is handsewn loafers so that's still how they present themselves and it seems to be how lots of people think of them. They also do Blake stitching instead of Goodyear so I think that affects the perception a bit. People into expensive, high quality dress shoes tend to seek out Goodyear welt construction.

    Rancourt does seem to get a fair bit of attention for their boots.

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    Super Moderator hornsup84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpark View Post
    Rancourt's heritage is handsewn loafers so that's still how they present themselves and it seems to be how lots of people think of them. They also do Blake stitching instead of Goodyear so I think that affects the perception a bit. People into expensive, high quality dress shoes tend to seek out Goodyear welt construction.

    Rancourt does seem to get a fair bit of attention for their boots.
    My natural chromexel belt from Rancourt is my favorite casual belt. Has survived a lot of wear and still looks great.

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    @dpark: Sure, I noticed that they use blake stitch, and so I suppose they're pricy for that, but blake stitch is still a good step up from glueing, and has some advantages compared to GYW in terms of sleekness. Anyway, I'm not looking for a shoe right now, but I'll bear Rancourt in mind next time I do.

    So, it's not really two American-made shoe companies, but at least five, with Rancourt, Red Wing, and Wolverine in there too. Plus some J&M models. It's just that it's only two American-made dress-shoe manufacturers that offer a wide range of styles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by srlclark View Post
    Sure, I noticed that they use blake stitch, and so I suppose they're pricy for that, but blake stitch is still a good step up from glueing, and has some advantages compared to GYW in terms of sleekness. Anyway, I'm not looking for a shoe right now, but I'll bear Rancourt in mind next time I do.
    To be clear, I'm not saying that Blake stitch is actually worse, merely that GYW seems to have captured most of the high end shoe market. People that care about shoes talk about it like it's the only way to make a decent shoe. From what I can tell, Blake+rapid (which is what Rancourt seems to use for most if not all of their Blake stitched shoes) seems strictly superior to GYW. It has the same waterproofing capabilities without relying on cement for the underlying strength.

    But then, I think most of the benefits of GYW in general are overstated. If you actually need waterproofing, you should probably be in rain or snow boots instead of $300 dress shoes.

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    I agree good year is more marketable.

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    Old thread, but over the last few days, threads at SF and AAAC indicated that Grangaard is retiring from AE (unclear as to whether he's retiring or "retiring"). According to the AAAC thread, he'll be there for several more months during the leadership transition.
    “There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, 'Do trousers matter?'"
    "The mood will pass, sir.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sideswipe View Post
    Old thread, but over the last few days, threads at SF and AAAC indicated that Grangaard is retiring from AE (unclear as to whether he's retiring or "retiring"). According to the AAAC thread, he'll be there for several more months during the leadership transition.
    I knew him when I worked at Piper Jaffray. He's a finance guy who stepped in to turn the company around. In private equity, the "exit," i.e., the sale of the company is always the goal because that's where you make your money. I'm sure the new owners would be thrilled for him to stay, but he's a multi-millionaire many times over and doesn't need the job.


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    Quote Originally Posted by theplayerking View Post
    I knew him when I worked at Piper Jaffray. He's a finance guy who stepped in to turn the company around. In private equity, the "exit," i.e., the sale of the company is always the goal because that's where you make your money. I'm sure the new owners would be thrilled for him to stay, but he's a multi-millionaire many times over and doesn't need the job.


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    I hope you're right. The worry is the possibility that he wanted them to continue on a relatively traditional route with a little flair - his two favorite shoes are the Strand and the Cornwallis - but the new owners wanted to move in the direction of the recent new offerings, which I think are very poor indeed.

    Of the shoes they've introduced in the last few months, the Grantham - while a bit boring - is the only traditional dress shoe, and that's already on clearance. The new McTavish has a horrible sole, rendering it a significant downgrade over the old McTavish. The less said about the casual chukkas and other stuff (Montauk, Cove Drive, Shannon Drive, and South Side), the better. I suppose the Player 2.0 is fine, but I don't know why grain leather is the only option.

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