The last sandal I bought was my absolute favorite of all time, the brand name is Riggers. Not only was the fit good and comfortable, but the insole was padded with a kind of suede finish. I have put many miles on these things in the past few years. When they finally gave up the ghost, I looked around to replace them – I am very brand loyal.
After finding them discontinued at my shoe store of choice, I made a call to the manufacturer (thanks to some internet research.) I discovered that this company makes private label shoes for many of the major brands, Riggers was an exception that used their own brand. First I was told that they don’t sell shoes to the public. After insisting that information was all I wanted, they realized I wasn’t getting off the phone until they assisted.
It turns out that the model had been discontinued shortly after I bought mine and been replaced by a newer version. They were unable to tell me which chain carried the new one, although they gave me a list to try. Famous Footwear was NOT on that list, but as it was right next to a company that was… I popped in to check.
A surprisingly similar model was displayed proudly – a shoe that could only have been the Riggers younger, slicker brother. The fit was the same, the design was almost identical… I was sold. (Here’s where I get to the ‘smart move’ part.) As it turned out, they were out of that shoe in my size. The clerk then suggested that they order the shoe and ship it to my door. Really? What would that cost? Nothing, she told me… it’s all free, and if I didn’t like them, I could return them to the store. Nice.
Think about it… the manufacturer has to ship shoes to the store anyway as they run out or need one ordered for a customer. Why not send them directly to the person? It costs the same. It makes the customer happy. Why are more companies not offering this service? I have another three days to wait for my shoes, but kudos to Famous Footwear for making it a little easier to pry money out of my hands.