The shoe doctor is in: Direct-to-consumer brand Cobbler Concierge is expanding its influence by offering footwear repair services to retailers that are looking for solutions to enhance the customer experience.
The company launched last year in a 5,200-sq.-ft. facility in New York Cit,y where its team of cobblers have refreshed leather and luxury goods through mail-in orders. Now, Cobbler Concierge has added B2B services that cater to the logistical and technological needs of footwear retailers.
Rag & Bone, Australian brand R.M. Williams’ New York City flagship and Marc Jacobs’ SoHo NYC shop are among the brands that tapped Cobbler Concierge as a repair service provider. In October, Tamara Mellon teamed with Cobbler Concierge and began offering a two-year complimentary luxury service guarantee on footwear purchases through the label’s rebranded e-commerce platform.
Footwear retailers see the model as a benefit that optimizes overall sales, Cobbler Concierge’s CEO Carolyn Blair told Footwear News. She added that consumers can have their favorite shoes repaired that are no longer carried by the brand or simply have a pair reset rather than demand a refund or exchange — all while going through the retailer.
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“We’ve gotten more interest from more partners because it’s a driver of business for their stores,” Blair said. “The idea for this company is to modernize (shoe repair) and make it upscale. Brands are looking to build an ecosystem around the consumer. We help the brands service the customer directly rather than sending them away.”
The arrangements between Cobbler Concierge and retailers are aligned with the unique needs of each brand. In some instances, the repair services through Cobbler Concierge are offered gratis to the retailer’s customers and can be dropped off in stores. Typical direct-to-consumer orders for repairs on leather goods, as well as satin and suede fabrications, range from $15 to $40 on Cobblerconcierge.com.
Blair said through the company’s dedicated technology, retailers are able to get reporting and data from customer repairs for their own marketing purposes.
“They learn about styles that people want to keep wearing again — it gives them a different level of information,” Blair explained. “It can help them track different wear patterns. Leather soles aren’t the most durable, and it’ll give them feedback to extend the life of those items.”