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No restoration drama for JM Weston

High-end footwear group JM Weston has said it will launch a campaign to buy back unwanted, used shoes from its customers around the world with the aim of restoring them and selling them to new owners for a cheaper price than its shoes cost new.

Two factors that have led to the company’s decision are the popularity of vintage products among consumers and the expertise it has in house already for repairing its footwear.

Like many high-end shoe brands, JM Weston offers a repair service at its Limoges factory and its workers there already restore between 10,000 and 15,000 pairs per year. Nevertheless, it has seen on e-commerce sites a large number of its shoes being put up for sale after years of use by their original owners.

The company has worked out that it can buy these shoes back, restore them and then put them up for sale initially in vintage sections in its stores in Paris, and perhaps later at its factory shop in Limoges and possibly in Japan, where vintage products are particularly popular.

It will limit this idea to six classic models from its range and has said it believes it will be able to make shoes such as its mocassins available for half the normal price for a new pair, which is around €600. It said it believes this will allow it to attract a new clientele, people who are attracted to the quality and heritage of the brand but would not be able or willing to pay full price.

Image: Before and after restoration. Credit: JM Weston

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