Customer Complaints for Leather and Footwear

Modern day consumers are both demanding and exacting when it comes to the aesthetic and performance quality of retail products. Furthermore, customers understand their consumer rights and are prepared to challenge any real or perceived product issues and will return items to store without hesitation.

For the retailer and their supply chain, returns can be a very costly element of their success and erodes bottom line profits very quickly. Manufacturing is mostly off-shore and retail staff are rarely as educated in retail products such as footwear or leather goods as they were a generation ago. This combination of consumer strength and retail product knowledge weakness is a perfect storm which can pass the impetus to the customer. For these reasons, retailers and manufacturers are increasingly asking for support in determining whether returned products should be accepted. Taking footwear and leather goods as a case study, there are a wide variety of potential causes for customer complaints which can be categorised in to a small number of root causes. This article reviews some of the more frequent customer complaints and looks to explain potential causes and how the supply chain may decide to react.