I attended San Diego State University. The campus is huge and student enrollment is bananas with a freshman class that tops 10,000 in certain years. When we were between classes we all used to lounge in different areas. For me and my crew we were in Montezuma’s Den or sitting in front of the stage area in the shade. All day we would see White kids rocking what we called Jesus sandals. SDSU was about 3% black and my best friends on campus consisted of a White rugby player, a Biracial PhD candidate, a Black mathematician, and a Mexican Jamaican ex drug dealer. We got so sick of seeing the shoes that we all decided to try a pair just for giggles. I actually wore my “Jesus” sandals until I moved to Memphis… In other words Birkenstocks were comfy ass shoes.
The source article above is about Birkenstock removing their products from Amazon. In that article it also discusses a woman who created a great bedsheet product and how her product was knocked off and sold on Amazon causing her sales to drop drastically. I recently told my own story about quitting Amazon:
Amazon is a force. They are so big that Nike recently joined forces to create a brand registry. This alignment made the Big 3 shoe companies all direct sales channels through Amazon; but Birkenstock last year went the opposite direction which took a lot of thought as the platform is so dominant in ecommerce.
Why would a smaller company decide to sever ties and a behemoth like Nike, or adidas, or Under Armour willingly launch brand registries?
Why would I willingly place my family in a financial bind by walking away from a half a million dollar Amazon store?
The answer isn’t simple. At 15% of your profits, one of the highest return rates in retail, countless A to Z claims, and chargebacks, on the platform, it is much easier to control your distribution, if you’re Birkenstock, by aligning yourself with account holders and limiting ecommerce to the brands own site. Birkenstock understands this, but it seems when a company is as big as Nike, adidas and Under Armour, having product everywhere wins out against common sense.
I commend Birkenstock and I think other brands should follow suit. Then again everyone isn’t willing to lose it all as I’ve done by breaking down my business and trying to rebuild it without Amazon.
Chris B. is the founder of ARCH & AHN
AHN is unlike other sneaker sites. AHN is a more informative look into sneaker culture. By presenting information about the business of sportswear through marketing analysis, updates on stock prices and introductions to new brands and styles, the site is easily distinguished from the everyday site only giving you release dates.
You can follow me on Twitter @archbyccb or YouTube @archbyccb.