Dr Martens, Marks and Spencer and Dyson – 3 companies that are renown by all, but little do we know about their struggling times. What do they all have in common?
All these companies originate from the UK, where all their products were mostly made here. However, over time they have moved their manufacturing facilities abroad. With the blurring of Brexit happening and the uncertainty it brings, companies are slowly feeling the financial bite. With the British pound devaluing, profits are reducing.
Management are making decisions with little consideration about how closing British factories and moving them abroad is affecting not just the economical state of their workers but the effect it has on their product quality. Recently Doc Martens, a very well-established shoe firm, has been in the news about how their excellent quality is no longer up to their usual standard.
“They are a solid choice and worth every penny”
Anyone who has a pair of Docs know that they are one of the comfiest pair of shoes to own and can last you for years. Regardless of the weather, most of their shoes are waterproof and are made of good quality material that they last longer than other average boots and shoes.
Truth be told, they seem spanking new even if they have been in some extreme muddy conditions (Duke of Edinburgh muddy conditions) after just wiping them down with what a damp cloth. They are a solid choice and worth every penny.
However, unfortunately the 1967 founded company have been struggling for a while and have recently been purchase by a private equity company who have moved most of their production abroad and consumers are not happy. One consumer noted that the leather thickness for the tongue was 1.4mm in comparison to 1.6mm thickness to the previous pair they owned.
“people are likely to repurchase the same product if they appreciated the comfort of it”
When Doc Marten’s Representative, Kenny Wilson, commented on the stories that there were many furious about their £160 pair of shoes splitting from the sole after 6 months, it was stated that the quality checks being carried out were still adhering to their 0.5% defects.
If the defects rate is still the same as it has always been or the defect range has been reduced, it means that the materials being used are of a poorer quality or the workmanship is not up to scratch.
“Dr Martins are now manufacturing many more designs from their factories, but the durability is no where to its original”
Another theory I have (not proven and is not to be taken literally as truth) is that some companies have realised that all products have a shelf life before people have to purchase a replacement – so by reducing the products shelf life (for example Docs lasting 5 years to 2 years), people are likely to repurchase the same product if they appreciated the comfort of it. For the Docs example given, it results in twice the earnings over a natural 5 year process by the same customer so more financial income. Spoiler alert: Dr Martens have removed their lifetime guarantee!!!
Either way, the business structure is one to consider Consumers dissatisfaction for the fact that people trusted the ‘Made In England’ quality more so than the ‘Made in Taiwan’. This may also be due to management having gradually changed the original aim of Dr Martens being a sub-culture, “working man’s” boot to a social, high trend fashion for all.
Due to this company shift, Dr Martens are now manufacturing many more designs from their factories, but the durability is no where to its original. It is like paying 3 times the price of the originals but knowing that they cannot be worn every single day and may fall into pieces after 6 months – a waste of money it seems.
It has come to a point where enough is enough, as we are becoming older we want to have good quality items especially if we are paying over 3-figures for it, it helps to not only be more sustainable but no one really enjoys wearing in new shoes.
Regrettably, it is not just Docs who are struggling but it seems to be one that seems that went from high quality to high fashion over the years.
Main Images courtesy of drmartensofficial, docsneakers via Instagram
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