Crockett & Jones specialise in the manufacture and retail of a very niche product, our Goodyear-welted footwear. Business verticals or businesses that operate in vertical markets remain specific to the needs of their customers and by operating in this way Crockett & Jones is able to focus on what really makes a difference to you, our customers. Highly skilled and committed staff, working with and utilising the highest quality materials to produce a product that represents excellent value and is as they say, ‘fit for purpose’.
Forever instilling an ethos to all of our staff and management of ‘Product Comes First’, we hold our footwear at the core of all that we do and are steadily applying vertical integration through the company to closely control the processes that drive product quality, manufacturing efficiencies and customer confidence.
Although Crockett & Jones turned 140 last year, it is often easy to assume that our customers are fully aware of how the C&J mill turns. To the title of this article – Manufacturer. Wholesaler. Retailer.
In 1879, Crockett & Jones opened its doors. Since then we have produced fine, Goodyear-welted shoes for men and women. Over the ages, we dipped in and out of branded and non-branded (white label) production and wholesale. First and foremost, C&J is a manufacturer. Secondly a wholesaler of products that we produce. Thirdly, and more recently, a retailer of those products.
Through the years we have produced shoes for some of the finest luxury retail brands the world has ever seen. Most of which you will know and might be interested to find out… Fast forward to today and our strength as a manufacturer and wholesaler lies with our decision to; reduce our ‘white label’ business and increasing the percentage of production for Crockett & Jones branded shoes & boots by offering a comprehensive stock programme / fill-in service to benefit our network of wholesale customers (retailers). The final swan-song was Jonathan Jones’ decision to launch Crockett & Jones Retail in the 90s. Today, this stands at 14 stores around the world, acting as flagships for the Crockett & Jones brand and products.
This mixture of wholesale and retail does present some ongoing questions from end consumers. As our world is more of an international village and the availability and sharing of information is instantaneous the various C&J collections around the world can get confusing:
We break down our product collections into two main categories: STOCK & MTO (Made to Order). Stock shoes are available to all of our wholesale customers, as are most MTO styles. The main difference is that our stock collection is pre-organised by our management team and consists of 120+ styles that we believe to be a cross-section of styles representing Crockett & Jones as we wish. MTO possibilities are almost endless; ranging from shoes that we produced 70+ years ago to shoes that are not even a concept yet!
If you are still with us, MTO shoes present retailers with the opportunity to be individual and creative within the realms of C&J. However, a retailer or buyer must weigh up the benefits of being individual against the investment required and the risk that comes with an MTO shoe – the risk and reward scenario. MTO shoes cannot be replenished singularly as these are produced in 12 pair lines, whereas stock shoes can be replenished individually. Sell one, buy one. The risk, financed by us the manufacturer.
The Crockett & Jones retail collection comprises of the full stock programme as well as a curated selection of MTO’s that we decide upon. This collection is combined to form the collection of shoes and boots that can be seen on this website. Not all of these styles are available from independent retailers around the world.
On our website, we cannot (or should I say do not) advertise all of the shoes that Crockett & Jones has produced over the years. Not only does it open up our wider MTO collection for competitors to ‘browse’, it also raises too many questions from our end consumers asking “Why can I not get this advertised shoe from your retail stores or wholesale network?”. The answer is quite simply, that retailers or C&J stores chose not to buy that MTO.
The result has gained Crockett & Jones a committed network of retailers through the depth of our stock programme and a committed following of end consumers, whom enjoy the service and diversity of our retail collection.