One of the UK’s most-respected bespoke shoemakers, John Lobb, has been producing shoes since the mid-19th Century. Now, this Northampton-based £25m business is set to grow.

Only a handful of British shoemakers continue to manufacture welted shoes to a traditional standard, and this one is no exception. However, the parent company, Hermès, has decided to up-scale their production of all welted shoes, which require their craftsmen to complete 190 bespoke steps.

But how is it possible to grow a brand with a business that has been built around the traditional, labour intensive craft, while maintaining its bespoke reputation?

Related reading: Read more stories and challenges of Makers

Over the next five years, John Lobb also plans to expand its product offering beyond welted shoes. The company already sell non-welted ready-to-wear shoes, as well as other leather accessories. Renaud Paul-Dauphin, CEO of John Lobb, intends to double revenue coming from non-welted shoes and other accessories, making this 30 per cent of the business.


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