How Everlane Sells a $300 Shoe for $168
The Modern Loafer. Everlane Price: $168. Traditional Retail: $270.
Raise your hand if you’ve been here before: You see a shoe. You fall in love. You stalk Instagram, Pinterest, Google, and when you finally find the coveted shoe online, you discover it costs half a month’s rent.
Once you’ve recovered from the shock, the question inevitably follows: “Why so much?”
The short answer: Because most retailers take huge markups on their products.
Longer answer: Sometimes, companies raise their prices to offset the cost of outsourcing design and product development, or to compensate for low sale prices at the end of a season. Other times, they just want to increase their profit margins. In either case, it’s the customer that gets stuck footing the bill.
It can feel a little unfair—dishonest, even. But we have good news for you, forlorn shoe shopper. One company is turning the traditional retail model on its head.
At Everlane, we believe consumers have a right to know what they’re paying for. We started with a question: Why does a designer tee cost $9 to make—but sell for $90? At Everlane.com, we invite customers to investigate the costs behind every single product, from fabric and materials to labor and transportation.
For context, the site offers a comparison between traditional retail prices and our own—which are, on average, a whopping 50% lower. By keeping design and production in house, Everlane cuts out the middleman, and passes the savings on to the customer. That coupled with the our emphasis on timeless, quality basics that stay relevant season after season allows us to avoid the vicious sale cycle that has plagued traditional retail companies like the Gap and J.Crew.
Take our Modern Loafer, for example. It’s produced at a luxury shoe factory in Brescia, Italy where owners Paolo and Tita have overseen production for 20 years (and many of the employees have been there for more than 30). Everything that comes down the line at the Brescia factory is hand-crafted and personally inspected, from the vegetable-tanned Tuscan leather to the stitching on the soles.
Normally, a handcrafted Italian loafer made at the Brescia factory would cost $300. At Everlane, it’s $168.