Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dear Allen Edmonds Customers:

The year 2009 has finished with an exciting flourish in our business here at Allen Edmonds. It seems that style trends, as recently reported in the press, definitely are favoring authentic, classic American looks. We're pleased to be able to serve our longstanding and new customers with our promise to be the Great American Shoe Company.

At this special time of year, we pause even more than usual to reflect on the importance of loyal customers and friends to our company and our employees. We thank you very much for your support.

To you and yours from all of us at Allen Edmonds -- Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for Good Health, Happiness, Peace and Prosperity in 2010!

Warm regards,

Paul D. Grangaard
President & CEO
Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It’s always tough to shop for men in December. Golf courses across the north have taken in the flagsticks, only die-hard cyclists risk the winter wipe-out, favorite hunting seasons are suddenly past and after-work sunlight is a long way off. Some logical gifts for the man’s favorite pastimes would sit for weeks, maybe even months, in a closet before becoming usable. No wonder the guys themselves often shrug, “I dunno.” when asked what’s on their wish list, causing much frustration among would-be gift-givers.

Wives, girlfriends, kids, friends, work colleagues, grandparents, in-laws … stress no more this year! Allen Edmonds has a new line-up of gifts that are sure to put a smile on that man’s face -- not just this month, but even in those dark days of January and February, and then throughout the year. Watch the video below for some great gift ideas.

Batting first (literally), I’m absolutely thrilled to announce here that Allen Edmonds has just entered into a partnership with Major League Baseball. Both organizations thought that “the Great American Pastime” and “the Great American Shoe Company” ought to do some fun things together. While shoes and other products are being prepared for Opening Day, we do have some great new gifts to introduce soon. We have team logoed tie racks, belt racks and shoe trees that will greet the man every morning with thoughts of sunny days, fields of dreams, a childhood hero (our family dog is named after Harmon Killebrew), that impossible catch, a game-winning hit or a championship season. Every guy needs to have these items in his closet, why not give him one that goes way beyond the function? You can hear James Earl Jones right now… “Baseball, Ray. Oh yes, they will come.”

Batting second, French cuffs are back in style in a big way. I’ve been wearing my MLB baseball cufflinks this fall and all sorts of guys are walking up saying, “Cool!” Believe me, “cool” is not a word so often heard at my age. I love the classy yet fun nature of these sterling silver cufflinks. Check them out. My 17 year-old son wants both the baseballs and the Yankee Stadium links.

Batting third, in pockets around the U.S. there are men who wear only Vineyard Vines ties, and with good reason. Made in the U.S.A. of fine silk, these ties are All American. They don’t cost some silly fashion house price well over $100. Not at all. Yet, they look fantastic and there’s often something subtle to smile about in the patterns. (For instance, the key lime pie tie inter-mixes keys and limes.) Vineyard Vines is also a MLB licensee. Their team ties are the classiest looking team ties, even corporate logo ties, that I’ve ever seen – definitely wearable in professional situations. For the true Allen Edmonds fan, how about giving the new Park Avenue tie? 2010 is the 30th anniversary of America’s great business shoe and Vineyard Vines created a shoe tie to help us celebrate. As they always do, they made it both fun and classy.

Batting clean-up, small leather goods made out of the best leathers in the world. Many wallets, money clips and cardholders are made of weak leather and sewn with weak seams. No wonder they wear out so fast (hey, that sounds like a lot of imported shoes today…). Our new leather goods are made in the U.S.A. out of the same strong calfskin and even shell cordovan leathers as our long-lasting shoes. Like our shoes, though, we priced them to be accessible. They’re an incredible value.

Batting fifth, how about custom engraved shoe trees? We all know it’s the thought that counts. Why not engrave that thought in something the man will see every morning? Personalized sayings of affection, appreciation, admiration, congratulations or encouragement – any of these can be put where he’ll see it every day and his name can be added, too. It’s like a great greeting card that doesn’t get thrown out after a few days. And you’re the author, so the thought counts more than ever.

Batting sixth, real shearling-lined calfskin slippers with a driving moccasin sole. Our new Banff style may be the most perfect slipper we’ve ever come up with. There’s nothing second-rate about them – great shearling, great leather, great stitching and a sole that feels great inside the house or out. I wear mine all weekend long.

Batting seventh, Bobby Jones watches. Men like to have choices in what watch to wear, without investing a ton of money. I’ve had a couple of these Bobby Jones watches for the past two years, and I also have a dressy Swiss watch. Nobody ever comments on my Swiss watch, but my Bobby Jones watches get noticed at work as well as on the weekends. I like wearing them. They’re more comfortable, very durable and I don’t have to worry about throwing them in a golf bag, a TSA checkpoint bin at the airport or in my briefcase. I initially called them my “free-time watches”, but now I’m wearing them all the time.

Batting eight, the right belt. Seriously. Most guys think the right belt is something that’s close in color to the black or brown shoes they’re wearing. Typically, they wear some old belt with three different buckle marks in the leather caused by, ahem, adjusting the sizing for their “added maturity”. Just a fresh new belt might be a great idea. If they have favorite Allen Edmonds shoes, the exactly matching belt could be even better.

Batting ninth, a shoe care kit and the right polishes. OK, this is pretty functional but, if he has great shoes, he ought to take great care of them. Many spit-polishers in airports and clubhouses make the world’s best leathers look plastic-coated by the time they’re done. The patent-leather look isn’t right for our great black and brown calfskins. This is a terrific stocking-stuffer idea.

Pitching, Christmas shoes. These aren’t the “Christmas Shoes” in the song that’s being made into a movie. These are great red and green shoes for the neighborhood party, the gatherings of family and friends and the home movies taken around the tree. I wore my first pair to church on Christmas Eve last year and got high fives all around. Talk about spreading some goodwill, good cheer and good smiles on a cold dark night, these are sure to brighten the Season.

There you have it: an All Star line-up for the guy whose most articulate answer to your stressed-out question is, “I dunno.”
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year from all of us at Allen Edmonds!!!

Warm regards,

Paul D. Grangaard
President & CEO
Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation