Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Since Steve and Barry's has filed for bankruptcy protection, Stephon Marbury, being the ever-consummate businessman, struck up a conversation with the folks at Amazon to sell his Starbury sneakers on the website.
Details are mad sketchy but we'll be sure to keep you posted on further developments.
Also, check out this email from Howard Schacter, Chief Partnership Officer for Steve and Barry's, about some comments made by Professor K (remember him?) in the Portland Oregonian back in the day.
As Chief Partnership Officer of Steve & Barry's and one of
the executives at the company responsible for the Starbury
brand, I came your comments in the recent Portland
Oregonian article on the launch of our Starbury
Collection, and in particular the Starbury One high
performance basketball shoe that we have created with
If you haven't seen the story, your comments about the
"I don't buy into their claim it's as well made as a
Jordan or Nike," said Ernest Kim, a senior writer who
reviews shoes for Sole Collector magazine under the name
Believe me, I fully understand the skepticism you've
communicated. However, in this particular case I'd like
to take the opportunity to share some information that
will shed some light on the Steve & Barry's business
model, which absolutely makes it possible to make a high
performance basketball sneaker like the Starbury One for
less than $14.98, while other top brands offer theirs at
prices up to 15 times the price.
For 20 years, Steve & Barry's has made it our mission to
offer high quality apparel and footwear at astonishing low
prices. In fact, our stores average 60,000 sq ft. and the
only item in the store that sells for more than $10 is the
Starbury One. That's for jeans, polos, sweaters, tshirts,
hats, jackets and much more merchandise that other
mall-based retailers typically sell for 50-100 percent
higher prices. Whether a high quality pair of jeans or a
high quality sneaker, our approach and end result of low
prices is the same.
How do we do it?
1) We have a cost-based pricing philosophy vs. a
market-based philosophy. Simply, that means that rather
then charging customers for what the market would bare for
our merchandise, we sell our goods at just a little bit
over what it costs us to make them. We care much more
about what's right for us and our shoppers vs. making as
much money as possible or worrying about other brands and
2) We analyze every one of the 1,000+ points of profit
along the path from cotton being plucked from the ground
to the minute a garment is put in a shopping bag. That
means focusing on word of mouth marketing vs. expensive TV
campaigns and sponsorships, packing our trucks more
efficiently to save on gas and travel, folding our shirts
and merchandising our shoes in certain ways to minimize
the amount of time it takes for our labor to help
customers, staying in mid-tier and low-tier hotels when
our executives travel (in fact, Steve and Barry stay in
the same room while on the road), sitting on $20 chairs at
the office vs. $300 chairs, etc., etc., etc.
3) As a private label manufacturer/retailer, we don't have
the burden of havinig to sell our goods to a retailer, and
then having the retailer add a profit to the good.
4) When Steve & Barry founded the company as college
students on tight budgets, they made it their mission to
do whatever it takes to keep prices low.
The end-result? A $14.98 basketball sneaker that delivers
all the comfort, stability, durability and styling, and
made of the exact same materials, as many of the most
expensive sneakers on the market. The Starbury One was
designed by Rocket Fish, an athletic footwear design firm
founded by former Nike sneaker designers who now work with
all the top brands. You should talk to them too.
By the looks of our Starbury Movement Tour (we're on day
11 of 20 days crossing the country with Stephon, who's
working out with high school teams, conducting autograph
signings and more), the alternative we're offering is
taking hold. We are seeing lines of nearly 500 people at
every single stop on our tour from New York to Chicago to
Pittsburgh to Minneapolis to St. Clairsville Ohio to Mario
Indiana to Houston Texas to Los Angeles and more.
I welcome a follow-up call to discuss any of the above
Chief Partnership Officer
Steve and Barry's
I guess sitting on $20 chairs and sharing hotel rooms on the road did not help the bottom line because Steve and Barry's is working hard to realign their bottom line. The Starbury sneakers on the other hand, are a well built pair of sneakers.