Growing a company based on the ethos and values of Crown Northampton isn’t easy and we always try to hold our hands up in the areas where we can improve; be it customer communications, delivery times or even staffing.
So what are the reasons behind increasing our order delivery times?
Materials: Due to the selection of premium materials we offer, which are in fact, some of the finest materials in the world, there is often limited availability and only so much to go around. Add to this the management of delivery logistics as well as the impact of global events, it’s a tricky business trying to ensure we have all of the materials that make-up our products. We do our best to try and keep on top of our stock levels to ensure nothing runs out but sometimes, it’s tough!
Staffing: Good people are hard to come by, and never has that phrase been more accurate than when we look at the shoe industry. As we grow, we are always looking for people either with shoemaking experience or the passion and willingness to learn what’s become a dying trade. We are very fortunate to be based within the heart and soul of the shoemaking world of Northampton, where several generations of shoemaking families often work side by side in the same factory. But in reality, the younger generations, who once would have been funnelled into the local shoe making trade in years gone by, are looking for opportunities in other sectors due to a myriad of social and economic concerns. There are still many great shoemakers in Northampton though, and we’ve got some interesting plans to try and bolster those numbers in the future!
Skills: A lot of the skills that go into making our products are only possible to learn on the job and through experience. And this takes time and training. Part of our core brand ethos is longevity and continuity, which is extremely important when it comes to the preservation of skills and trades within shoemaking. At Crown Northampton, we’re trying our best to do our bit and keep the art of hand making shoes in our town and county alive, with the hope it will continue long into the future. As we’ve already said, this takes time. But we’re getting there.
Every Order. Made-to-Order: Made-to-order footwear takes longer to produce due to the nature of individually producing each pair of shoes for each and every customer. This slow, considered handmade approach, as opposed to fast, machine made mass production has a certain challenge to it as well as charm in the unique skills that are required. The reality of individual made-to-order footwear is that it simply requires more patience. We’re aware that once you’ve made your order you want the finished product on your feet asap! But some things shouldn’t be rushed, so we’re adjusting our timelines accordingly. We are confident that when you receive your product, you will feel it was worth the wait as it was made exclusively for you.
Communications: We do our best to communicate with all of our customers as quickly and efficiently as possible. As we’ve grown, so have your questions and enquiries, and subsequently, so has our customer services team, which has more than doubled in the past 12 months. We’re not a ‘next day shipping’ business and our traditional made-to-order approach does bring its own set of unique challenges. However, strong customer service interaction is at the core of what we do, as without all you guys, Crown Northampton couldn't be what it is today. In some of our steepest growth periods, we’re aware that we’ve sometimes fallen short on updates and the speed of communication we strive to offer. We genuinely care about keeping you all adequately informed, and we’re continually working behind the scenes to improve customer communications through simplified processes.
Ultimately, we want to be upfront, honest and transparent with all our new and existing loyal customers. As a brand, we didn’t want to put out a generic email about our delivery times increasing, we wanted to openly and honestly explain the reasons behind our thinking. Hopefully, you can then understand where we’re coming from and importantly, what we really stand for as a company. If you’re an existing customer or future customer of Crown Northampton, you’re on this journey with us and you’re a part of what we are building. We thank you for your patience, appreciate you joining us, and thank you for choosing Crown Northampton.
Made-to-order delivery time is now 15 weeks across all collections.
We aim to honour our 9-12 week delivery schedule for all outstanding orders, though we're slightly behind. We're committed to limiting any additional delays and ensuring you're informed. Your understanding as we work to expedite your order is greatly appreciated.
Thanks again for your patience and for continuing to be our customers on this journey.
Crown Northampton Team