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>> We had the idea for GREATS years ago. John and I thought that it would be really interesting to launch a men’s sneaker brand that focused on the classics and then kind of bring a more modern design on top of those classic silhouettes. My name is Ryan Babenzien, I’m the co-founder and CEO of GREATS. The way we describe GREATS is we are innovating the quality-price equation. We don’t sacrifice quality at all. We just don’t wholesale so we’re able to make a premium product at a value price because it’s not getting marked up at a third party retailer.
People are very comfortable with buying shoes online, so when we started GREATS we felt that the need to be in retailers to launch a brand was probably a detriment. You might have 2 or 3 stores in 2 or 3 major cities, and unless you live in those major cities you weren’t going to be able to access our product.
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>> The internet started to become more and more prominent as a commerce solution and people were buying lots of shoes online. We refined that idea to being an e-comm business. We knew that when we launched, logistics was not going to be something we were going to be good at. So we went out immediately and tried to find the best 3PL we could find. After reviewing everybody, we came to the decision that Shipwire was probably the right fit for us. Multiple warehouses across the country, the ability to scale, the numbers were astronomical, like how much product they were shipping out. So we felt like “well if we can get to 10 million pieces a year, we’re going to be in really good shape and if they’ve done that for somebody else, they can help us get there.”
So that’s why we decided to work with Shipwire. They’re better at forecasting with us than we are at sometimes ourselves. They make us get better at forecasting so it’s been a really helpful relationship. 16 months into it, we are on our way to showing that you can build a great sneaker brand without relying on big box retailers.
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