VANS is an American based manufacturer of sneakers, BMX shoes, snowboarding boots, skateboarding and other shoe types. They target and cater to groups of youths and active consumers who do skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding. There are also apparels and accessories from the same company to cater to the same youth market. The first store was started in California by Paul Van Doren and three partners in March 16, 1966. What makes them special at first is that they sold shoes manufactured from the factory directly to the public.
The shoes were available on the exact same day it was manufactured. Those shoes were known as Authentic. Due to complaints given by the customers that Vans soles cracked too easily, Paul Van Doren added lines to the original diamond shapes soles to give the shoes more strength, which is now patented as Vans’ waffle sole. This becomes popular among skateboarders due to its rugged make-up and sticky soles. Vans began to meet the skateboarders’ demands of new colors and patterns by introducing a red-and-blue shoe designed by profession skateboarders which is known today as Era.
With the increasing demand, more colour combinations and patterns were added and a new style, the Slip-Ons was designed. Through help of skateboarders and BMX riders, soon the Slip-Ons shoes become all the rage in Southern California. They have boast the most sought after classic designs of shoes which is from the Vans Classic Slip-On® to the Classic Authentic®. Till date, they have put their signature on the skateboard and fashion world for over 40 years. VANS sells directly to the public via more than one distribution channel. They adopt both store and online channel.
Over the years, due to growing influence of social media, they have set up an online store to compete with their competitors and reach out to a new market. Internet is an important platform to increase the exposure of their brand and proprietary content worldwide. This channel helps them to overcome the limitations of their existing formats such as constraints with the size of their stores. In the stores, the amounts of products that can be displayed for sale are limited. With the website, VANS could keep customers updated with real time information about more variety of merchandise, stock availability and price reductions.
Also, they are able to keep their customers updated of their frequent events. Secondly, it allows customers to shop in comfort and convenience as they are able to add the items they want to the shopping cart and also make the payments online by VISA, Mastercard etc. At the same time before making their decisions, they could easily compare the products information and read reviews wrote by other users which is provided on the internet to ensure that it is a good buy. In Singapore, VANS opened its first and only retail outlet in Marina Square. It carries the selection of shoes, apparels and accessories.