Custom-made shoe retailer Shoes of Prey Inc. announced this week that it has stopped taking orders.
“We are making the difficult decision today to pause orders and actively assess all our options to either sell, or at a later date, reboot the business with substantial changes,” Fox writes in her Instagram post.
The ShoesofPrey.com homepage relays a similar message and says that it will refund any orders it can’t produce.
Shoes of Prey allowed shoppers to design every detail on a shoe, down to the color of a pump’s piping. A pair of shoes was made on demand and then shipped directly to the customer in two weeks.
Fox founded Shoes of Prey in her Australia homeland in 2009. In the nearly 10 years since launch, Shoes of Prey has had millions of global customers. In 2014, it launched its own manufacturing facility in Guangdon, a province in southern China. Also in 2014, the retailer began a partnership with department-store chain Nordstrom Inc. and opened Shoes of Prey Design Studios within six of its U.S. stores in 2014, and Shoes of Prey also opened a store in Australia.
Early signs, such as its net promoter score, basket size and millions of customers all pointed to success for Shoes of Prey, Fox wrote on Instagram. The retailer invested in research and development, had proprietary software and patents.
“Most recently, we began actively supporting many brands around the world, fulfilling their design needs with on-demand manufacturing,” Fox wrote.
In 2015, Shoes of Prey relocated to the U.S. to make it easier to work with Nordstrom and other U.S. investors. In 2015, however, the physical stores didn’t perform as hoped, and Shoes of Prey closed them.
In a previous Internet Retailer interview, Fox said it was a financial decision to close the stores, as they consumed 25% of the company’s budget but only contributed 15% of sales, Fox said.
As of early 2017, Shoes of Prey had made six million pairs of shoes, Fox told Internet Retailer. About 50% of its customers were based in the U.S., and Australia was its second-largest market, Fox said.
Web traffic seemed healthy in the first half of 2017 and reached more than 500,000 visitors in August 2017, according to web measurement firm Similar Web Ltd. Web traffic, however, has since declined by more than 50% to an average of 238,000 visitors per month on average between September 2017 and July 2018.
Internet Retailer estimates that ShoesofPrey.com generated $115.46 million in 2017 online web sales, and it ranks No. 337 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500.
Plus, Shoes of Prey’s 2017 online sales grew 29.0% in 2017 over 2016—slightly higher than 28.4%, which is the growth rate rate for Internet Retailer’s shoe category that includes 20 shoe retailers in Internet Retailer’s Top 500.
However, Shoes of Prey’s repeat shopper rate was 21.7% in 2017, much less than the shoe category’s average return shopper rate of 41.0%.