Schutz is shifting its business strategy to become more competitive. Starting today, the made-in-Brazil shoe brand will be offering a lower price-point model in order to make collections accessible to a wider audience.
It was a response to the coronavirus crisis, according to Schutz’ parent company Arezzo & Co. CEO Alexandre Birman.
“We look up to [my father] Anderson Birman, our founder, on how to survive this moment,” he told FN. “We need to respect the crisis and the people that are living it. Adaptation is a very important word for the moment and as he says, ‘We need to adapt, adapt and re-adapt.'”
With its repositioning, the brand will continue to operate out of their Brazilian-owned and operated factory, creating the same shoes, but at new prices. Sneakers will retail for $78, sandals for $98 and boots for $158. Prior, its shoes were priced in the $200 range.
In addition, collections will include more casual options to support changes in trends. For instance, for the new fall line, more than 30% of the collection is made up of flats and sneakers. In the past, that category accounted for approximately 10%.
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Schutz CEO Fernando Caligaris said the new vision has been embraced by the brand’s wholesale partners, including Revolve, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, and assured that the quality remains above par.
This change comes at a time when Schutz, like many other brands, had to redefine its strategy.
“How do we fit within this new normal or whatever the new normal is going to be?” Caligaris explained. “And while we’re figuring that out, we understood that there’s a measure of supply chain review underway. We had to optimize our logistics. We had to make a big change in our delivery process, in our supply chain. We had to strengthen the window of lead time between the production, the orders that we receive, and making sure that they arrive to the customer.”
Before COVID-19 hit, Schutz’ U.S. business was 50% online and 50% from physical stores, either through its own channels or retail partners. Now, the brand will be putting more dollars behind its digital strategy as its seen two to three-digit sales growth compared to last year.
Despite brick-and-mortar struggles, Caligaris said he believes online is not going to replace physical stores.
“Thirty to 35% of our e-commerce sales come from stores,” he said. “So this is how important stores are, not only to have a great experience to the end customer whenever they are at our stores, but also to maximize our inventory.”
In Brazil, where the coronavirus killed more than 130,000 people, second only to the U.S. in terms of deaths, performance remains steady for Schutz. “We’ve been seeing huge traffic coming back to stores right now in Brazil,” said Caligaris. “We were able to maintain a greater volume to add to our factories so for that reason are our biggest stakeholders, our external stakeholders, the factories and our franchisees, they are living through this moment.”
The new collection is launching with the label’s “Deep Truth” campaign, starring model Valentina Sampaio. Sampaio was the first openly transgender woman to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Standout styles in the collection include black leather combat boots, white athleisure sneakers, and pink strappy mules.
For those looking to test-drive a pair this month, Schutz is launching a special landing page for one hour, offering the first 500 shoppers to subscribe and refer five friends a free shoe. Customers will receive a code to shop selected products in the $120 range. Then in early October, the first 500 people to subscribe and donate an old shoe from another brand, will receive a new pair from Schutz, and the brand will make a donation to a charity.