The paradox of choice. Why made-to-order might not solve the fashion industry’s problems

How could you go from winning awards for “Store Design of The Year” and “Best Shoe Ever” to selling nothing?

In 2009 the Australian startup Shoes of Prey set out to make exactly the shoes its customers wanted. Customers could pick the designs, sizes and exact specifications, and Shoes of Prey would deliver exactly what they ordered.

They wouldn’t make shoes no one needed. Traditional retailers use flash sales to move stock that has gone out of fashion. Or they burn or bury it. British fashion label Burberry says it has destroyed more than A$150 million worth of unsold clothes, accessories and perfume over the past five years. Last month Shoes of Prey hit pause. Co-founder Jodie Fox went to social media to say it was considering its future and wouldn’t process any further orders. It had been unable to “truly crack mass market adoption”. If Shoes of Prey couldn’t, maybe no one can.

The pros and cons of mass customisation

Customisation can increase the perceived value of a product through the “I designed it myself” effect, giving customers a sense of ownership as “creators”. Read more

Jessica Pallant and Sean Sands –  Business News Australia – 13 September 2018