Home world Bootmaker Dr Martens to offer shoe repairs in sustainability push

Bootmaker Dr Martens to offer shoe repairs in sustainability push

Bootmaker Dr Martens to offer shoe repairs in sustainability push
Published September 15, 2023 Updated September 15, 2023 Bookmark Bookmark Share WhatsApp Telegram Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

LONDON — Dr Martens plans to launch a shoe repair service in Britain next month as it seeks to polish its sustainability credentials, encourage customers to extend the life of their boots, and create a new revenue stream.

The London-listed maker of leather boots, shoes, and sandals is currently testing the service with its employees, chief executive officer Kenny Wilson said in an interview. The UK launch is a pilot, with a view to expanding the service to continental Europe.

Even if the repair service displaces some demand as people opt for repairing their boots over buying a new pair, Mr Wilson said the service would bring benefits to the brand overall.

“Could it potentially lose us some business short term? Yes, but we think about it long-term, therefore we think it will breed customer loyalty, and it’s the right thing to do,” Mr Wilson said.

“I get letters from people every week saying can I get my Dr Martens repaired,” he added.

Dr Martens is working with The Boot Repair Company in the northern English city of Leeds to offer repairs.

To replace worn-out soles on a pair of boots – a procedure that requires taking the whole boot apart – customers would pay 81 pounds (S$137), Mr Wilson said, while other repairs would likely be less expensive. That compares with 169 pounds (S$286) for a new pair of Dr Martens 1,460 boots.

Overall, Mr Wilson said he sees a big opportunity in the second-hand market for Dr Martens, with the potential to grow to a tenth of group revenue. In May last year, the company launched a resale service with second-hand marketplace Depop.

Clothing and footwear brands around the world, including Zara and H&M, are seeking a toehold in the resale market as more sustainability-conscious young shoppers opt for second-hand items over new. REUTERS