Mr.Buffett’s Prophecy

May 27, 2017
“Retailing is tough for me to figure out,” billionaire investor Warren Buffett said in a CNBC interview.” I have no illusion that 10 years from now will look the same as today, and there will be a few things along the way that surprise us,” he said. “The world has evolved, and it’s going to keep evolving, but the speed is increasing.”


Apparently things are starting to move also in the shoemaking business. If, until recently, it was impossible to buy directly from producers’ websites (most of them having websites from antiquity ) things are beginning to move. Crockett&Jones, Edward Green, Loake are only a few of the important names that bet on the online direct sales.
If, for some producers, direct sales are still not yet possible (Cleverley and their selected online shops such Mr.Porter), it is just a matter of time until we will make our purchases online. The investment in the online part will be very profitable for them, by attracting the buyer straight to their site the sales margin for the retailers will remain thus in their pocket.
Crockett&Jones Cadogan
Another future direction is given by the opening of the bespoke companies towards the MTO and then the RTW segments. The future in business belongs to RTW and MTO. The production must be quickly adapted to the market and especially to the increase of the casual buyer segment. Companies like Zonkey Boot understood that the time of the black oxford has passed. They bet on models like the one below and they won.
Young companies such J.FitzPatrick or Barre&Brunel offer a wide range of  RTW shoes including button shoes, butterfly loafers or lazy- man’s oxdords (Barre&Brunel). All those companies sell online and both have very friendly e-shops.


Even if things don’t seem very pink for retailers today, I wouldn’t hurry into declaring them losers. Most of them already sell online and, following the pressure of the producers’ websites, they will try to come with something different: special models, new lasts, interesting leathers. Each of them will try to individualize on the market and to adapt much faster to the request compared to the factory. Things are beginning to become interesting for us, buyers.
Intro sketch courtesy of Juliano Lopes – Entre/Momentos

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