One of the themes of last week’s World Retail Congress, was ‘disruption’ in the world of retail. In particular, there was a great seminar on what retail has to learn from new retailers; how they are disrupting the status quo. Michael Fox Shoes of Prey CEO and co-founder, was a member of a panel interviewed by Steve Sadove, ex CEO and Chairman of Saks in the states.

In case you’ve not yet explored Shoes of Prey, then www.shoesofprey.com is well worth a look – especially if you are a shoe-loving female. The shoes are not the cheapest but they are very special – they are all made to order. For around £120, in four weeks time you can have a new pair of shoes made to your (almost) exact requirements.

Shoes of Prey offer an amazing proposition, Michael Fox was keen to stress that their SKUs are almost infinite. Although there are only 12 basic shoe shapes, by the time you adapt heel, detail, material, colour, embellishments, the possibilities seem endless.  You really can design and customer your shoes to suit you.

Personalisation is not a new trend, but Shoes of Prey takes this to a whole new level; mass customisation. It’s their view that “mass customisation, coupled with on-demand production, is the future of retail.”

Millenial appeal

The millennial generation are set to be the largest and most influential on the economy. With high expectations for choice and personalisation it’s easy to see why Shoes of Prey feel confident in their growing appeal amongst this group.

Another benefits of highly personalised production is less wastage. The lack of waste involved in Shoes of Prey on-demand manufacturing will appeal to the great importance Millenials put on sustainability.

High-tech retailing for mass-customisation

Interestingly, all of the websites product shots are computer generated; no ‘product’ photography whatsoever and no stock to store. In a recent recruitment advertisement, Shoes of prey say they are “creating software to revolutionise the way affordable luxury products are purchased and manufactured”.

The company has their own factories and are working to reduce delivery time to one week; although it is acknowledged that they will not achieve that for some time, it is a clear sign that retailing is rapidly and fundamentally changing.

If this has whetted your appetite then you can read more about Shoes of Prey fascinating story via Michael Fox’s blog at www.22michaels.com.