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Shoes of Prey enters liquidation

Images: Shoes of Prey Instagram

Online shoe retailer Shoes of Prey has officially hit the skids and has appointed a liquidator after attempts to revive the business failed.

FTI Consulting’s Kelly Trenfield and John Park were appointed as liquidators on Monday, marking the closing chapter in the 2009 startup’s journey.

Where did it all go wrong?

“The mass market fashion customer just didn’t respond as we expected,” Michael Fox, who co-founded Shoes of Prey with Jodie Fox, said in a post on Medium.

He said expectations that the mass market would find the customisation offering proposed by Shoes of prey appealing ultimately fell short.

“We learnt the hard way that mass market customers don’t want to create, they want to be inspired and shown what to wear,” he said.

“They want to see the latest trends, what celebrities and Instagram influencers are wearing and they want to wear exactly that – both the style and the brand.”

The company attempted to meet the needs of women with small, large, narrow or wide feet but found that Australian women generally didn’t know they were wearing the wrong size shoe.

It was also cost prohibitive to try and compete with large shoe factories in China without losing out on ethics and efficiency.

“We weren’t able to clearly prove that these customers were willing to pay us enough at a large enough scale to cover our fixed costs.”

The company ran out of funding and stopped taking orders in August last year, describing it as a “pause” at the time.

However, Shoes of Prey ultimately found the challenges insurmountable.

Co-founder Jodie Fox is currently writing a book on Shoes of Prey, set to be released this year.

Latest in a long line of retailers to close its doors

Tough market conditions have also forced other Australian retailers to shut up shop. In 2019 alone, menswear chain Ed Harry and makeup brand Napoleon Perdis have appointed administrators.

These movements came after a horror year for Australian retail, with 2018 seeing Toys ‘R’ Us, Max Brenner, Roger David and Topshop Australia all shutting up shop.

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