Many brands have seen their retailers temporarily close down during lockdown which has caused these stores significant financial difficulty. A number of labels and initiatives have emerged in order to support their partners, allowing e-commerce customers to choose a brick-and-mortar store to which to donate a portion of the sale of their purchase.
It is in this spirit of solidarity with the scene of local skate shops that Vans has launched its latest initiative, Foot the Bill. The brand, born from US skate culture in 1966, has chosen to use its online shoe personalisation platform to allow its customers to support the brick-and-mortar stores that remain closed due to lockdown.
“My father, Paul Van Doren, always said that our company brought together people whose vocation was to make shoes,” said Steve Van Doren, son of Vans’ founder and vice president of events and promotions at the brand. “Today more than ever, it is important to support those who ensure that communities around the world have a space to create and to come together. The small business that we were yesterday would not be here today without the help of these partners. The goal is to mobilise with our customers so that we can reach out to those that need it.”
Vans’ initiative will continue despite measures taken to ease lockdown restrictions and new outlets have joined the list of stores that have created their own model of shoe available on the Foot the Bill online platform. Participating stores in France include ABS and Wall Sreet in Lyon, Circle in Avignon, Riot in Bordeaux, and Molly in Besançon, as well as Tattoo L'Encrerie in Paris. The initiative is also running in Italy, the UK, and Germany and just launched in Spain several days ago.
Each participating store has created its own customised model of Vans shoe, most of which are slip-ons, to retail from Vans’ online platform for €100 ($108.14). The shoes are limited edition with a maximum number of 500 pairs available per design. With this initiative, Vans has created a bridge between local solidarity and exclusivity.