Who we are
The Left Shoe Company is a premium footwear brand that combines technology with traditional craftsmanship with the aim to reinvent the world of men’s made to measure shoes. We make truly individual shoes for truly individual people – in developing our proprietory software and patented process, we have scanned the feet of over 40,000 people, and each pair we produce is custom made, personalised to the customer’s feet and taste.
Using 3D scanning technology, we are able to analyse customers’ feet and produce the right fit, at a competitive price relative to other custom-made shoes and with a short delivery time. We are all about a co-created shopping experience – by choosing the leather, colour and sole, our customers can be part of the design team. Once measured, our customers can order shoes online or in one of our showrooms, currently located in London, Los Angeles and Helsinki.
Since all of our goods are made-to-order for individual customers we don’t carry inventories, therefore we don’t suffer from having to discount old stock. All of our shoes come with a fit guarantee, and thanks to our technology and experience we have been able to avoid the e-commerce problem of high levels of product returns. We have kept ours around 4%, compared to an industry average of 35-55%.
In May 2015, the US based, The Left Shoe Company North America LLC., was consolidated with the European side of the business and is today a subsidiary of The Left Shoe Company Limited based in London. The consolidation was executed in order to secure the largest consumer market under direct ownership of the parent company, and to gain synergies in overall operations.
Our vision is to become the leading men´s made to measure shoe marketer on a global scale.
With an average price of £395 we have positioned ourselves in the top end of the off-the-shelf market, and well below the price of bespoke custom made shoes. So far our customers have had to visit one of our stores to be measured and for their profile to be created, but imagine if you could order made to measure shoes without ever having to visit a store! This is our most exciting step so far and now you can be a part of it!
By removing the constraint of visiting a store, we believe our market expansion possibilities would be almost endless. We already ship our shoes to all continents, ensuring that they are the best fit regardless of location.
Our earning logic is based on the following key competive competences;
- Efficiency via mass-tailoring with low return rates
- Hybrid model combining traditional retail and e-commerce
- Lack of inventory, as all goods are made to order
- No discounts affecting margins required, as no unsold inventory is created
- Cash positive model, as payment is received prior to manufacturing
- Low development risk, only sample models needed to launch new collections.
Use of Funds
Our intention is to invest into:
1. Technology – to enable global reach and remove the constraint of visiting a point of sale store all together via:
- A configurator to create full colour and revolving shoes for the web site, changing as the customer makes choices of leather types and colours. This project has already started for an early stage preview please go to: http://preview.jco.fi/lsc/TheCorona.html.
- Adapting a home scanning app that can be run on any smart phone or tablet, eleviating the necessity of having to get the customer to the store to be scanned, or having to bring the scanner to the customer. This project has already commenced.
2. Staff – to strengthen the current team with a part-time financial director and full-time e-commerce specialist.
Where you can find us
We currently have showrooms in London, Los Angeles and Helsinki, capturing local markets. Following an 11-month trial in Manhattan, we plan to replace LA with a permanent location in New York. Following our pop-up experience with Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, we are delighted to annouce plans to launch a ‘shop in shop’ inside the prestigious department store in April 2016.
Simultaneously, in April 2016 we will continue our collaboration with Virgin Atlantic, having another pop-up inside the Clubhouse Lounge at Heathrow. Previously we have appeared also in the Clubhouse Lounges at JFK and Gatwick.
In California we are currently running a series of pop ups with high end golf clubs, such as the Bel-Air and Hillcrest Country Clubs, for the first phase of our co-branded made-to-measure golf shoe program with FootJoy.
The Left Shoe Company aims to be an early market mover in men’s made to measure shoe brands, combining traditional craftsmanship and 3D technology with customized styling. Our aim is to position our brand and products between the high-end off-the-shelf brands and the luxury bespoke brands, while opening up our market to everyone through a foot scanning app.
THE CUSTOMIZATION TREND
The made-to-measure trend has grown significantly in the last decade in e-commerce. A trend in the market can be seen in brands launching customization options in order to enhance customer loyalty and engagement. Customized footwear is still a niche market, but a growing one, as more customers enjoy the co-created experience and are willing to pay for the tailoring premium.
According to Bain&Co, to meet the increasingly strong desire for differentiation, ever more luxury brands are offering personalization options for their leather good; and already in 2012 25-30% of online shoppers were interested in tailoring their footwear. A survey showed that those customers who had customized a product online engaged more with the company, visiting its website more frequently, staying on the page longer and becoming more loyal to the brand. The survey also showed that customers are willing to pay 20% more than standard equivalents for customised products.
We see our biggest competitors as the ready-to-wear shoes in the same price bracket as the LSC, and that the shift in the customer segment to made-to-measure shoes could take place due to customization and personalization options. We see a sweet spot in the market for affordable luxury goods to capitalize on.
Addtionally, consumers are becoming more tech savvy. Therefore In order to achieve our brand vision, accelerate revenue and capitalize on our position in the growing made-to-measure market, we believe a mobile app is required to open the market, allowing anyone to scan their feet and order made to measure shoes online.
THE FOOTWEAR MARKET
According to the Apiccaps World Footwear report 2015, the international footwear trade (exports) continues to grow at double-digit rates. Consumption of footwear in the 28 EU countries alone increased slightly to €23.5 billion in 2014, representing 2.9% annual growth since 2010. The five leading countries (Germany, Italy, France, UK, and Spain) account for 75% of EU footwear consumption. Despite Finland not being in the top 5 mentioned, we have establishedsales from the Finnish market with a store in Helsinki, which we believe is due to our innovative brand strategy. Statistics show higher shoe sales per person in both the UK and North America, so we have identified larger potential for us in these two markets alone.
In 2016 we aim to focus especially on the UK market, as the UK´s share of the total footwear consumption in 2014 was 14% with over €3000 million, making it the fourth biggest market within the EU. We have strategic partnerships in place with Virgin Atlantic and Harvey Nichols and having worked to establish ourselves within the very heart of bespoke and made-to-measure markets in St. James´s of London we believe we are well placed to provide high exposure and credibility for The Left Shoe Company brand. Additionally, according to Goodman Associates the UK male is becoming increasingly involved in following the latest trends.
Direct and online sales are becoming more important, with growing opportunities to sell more directly to your buyers and cut out agents, distributors, importers and/or wholesalers e.g. direct delivery from brand-owner to consumer through pick-up points, direct home delivery and drop shipments through marketplaces and e-fulfilment centres.