Luxury shoe site MarthaLouisa.com is closing up shop at the end of 2018, less than a year after it launched.
Susanne and Christoph Botschen debuted the e-commerce platform — dedicated solely to upscale footwear — in March.
The site went live with more than 80 labels, including market leaders Saint Laurent and Gucci as well as up-and-comers such as Alchimia Di Ballin, No. 21 and Vibi Venezia.
“We dared to do an exciting experiment, which we will now discontinue at the end of the year,” said Christoph Botschen. “The sales development fell short of our expectations. We are overwhelmed by the trust and commitment of our partners.”
Designers big and small were excited to partner with the Botschens, the well-known retail forces who launched German powerhouse My Theresa more than 30 years ago. The company began as a concept store in Munich, Germany and expanded online in 2006. (The couple sold the business to Neiman Marcus in 2014.)
There’s no question that today’s e-commerce climate is fiercely competitive— and much more complicated than when the Botschens first entered the market.
The high-end fashion space, in particular, is dominated by Net-a-Porter, Matchesfashion.com, and MyTheresa, among others. But many of those sites offer a broad product mix, including ready-to-wear, shoes, beauty, jewelry and more.
The Botschens set out to do something different by focusing specifically on the footwear category and spotlighting the best new talent.
At FN’s Women Who Rock event in June, Botschen talked about utilizing her business to support young designers. “You can give them a platform to make them known,” she said.