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Shoes of Prey goes into voluntary administration

Published
today Mar 12, 2019
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Custom footwear brand Shoes of Prey said it has appointed administrators this week, after months of speculation regarding the Australian start-up's future.

The cult fashion brand told local media on Tuesday it has recruited FTI Consulting's Kelly Trenfield and John Park to start liquidating the nine-year-old company on Monday.


Shoes of Prey


Co-founded in 2009 by Michael Fox, Jodie Fox and Mike Knapp, Shoes of Prey retails customised shoes online with the ability for shoppers to have each purchase made, and delivered, within weeks.

The bankruptcy news was preempted ahead of Monday, however, with Fox on Sunday publishing a piece entitled "Shoes of Prey Journey Comes To An End" via the online media platform Medium.

In the post, the co-founder said a low interest from the mass market for customised shoes lead to its demise, saying that most shoppers want to access the latest styles and brands as seen on celebrities and influencers -- and not necessarily create their own footwear.

"[Shoppers] don't want to invest time in creating a product themselves, and attempts to have them do this, even in small ways, leads to the paradox of choice kicking in causing decision paralysis, in turn lowering conversion rates," Fox said, via Medium on the weekend.

The other reason given by Fox was the company's difficulty in competing with cheap Chinese manufacturers.

Shoes of Prey first warned of difficulties back in March last year, when Fox -- who is also the company’s chief executive -- started contacting some of Australia's heavyweight backers to ask for fresh funding.

Then in August 2018, the company said it had run out of money, causing it to cease orders. The latest news marks the end of a era for the budding company, which was once "prepped to scale into the $100m’s revenue," said Fox.

Following a horror year for Australian retail in 2018, the year 2019 continues to be rough for both local fashion and cosmetics brands. Most recently, Australian beauty giant Napoleon Perdis went into administration in February, causing it to shut dozens of stores across the country.

Likewise sportswear manufacturer Skins filed for bankruptcy in January, while menswear chain Ed Harry closed all stores after attempts to find a buyer failed that same month.

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